Some Western diplomats expressed fears over the abysmal way the Federal Government was handling the Coronavirus outbreak. They warned that the number of infections could witness a sharp increase in the coming weeks if the Nigerian Government does not review its strategy and the poor way it’s been handling the pandemic.
The country as at late Friday had 81 confirmed cases, recorded 1 death of the pandemic and 3 who have been released after being treated of the disease.
A monitored report by Nairametrics suggests that diplomats are predicting that the Covid-19 infections could rise to more than 10,000 in the coming weeks, as there are at least 5,000 persons, who had come in contact with infected persons in Nigeria already.
These set of people, it was gathered, had also subsequently come in contact with thousands of others in society without realizing that they might have the virus.
The monitored report disclosed that a senior diplomat attached to one of the European high commissions in Nigeria on Friday said, “This is the real danger. A lot of people who have had contacts with original carriers of the virus don’t even know they have the ailment and have in fact gone ahead to mingle with hundreds and thousands of others in the society, spreading the virus further.
“From the information we have in the diplomatic community, there could be an explosion of confirmed infections in the coming weeks. It is going to disrupt a lot of things.”
Another diplomat, who is from a country that has provided technical support to African countries trying to curtail the spread of the disease said that the country was in a desperate and extremely serious situation.
This is partly because of the suspicion that the untested infection cases far outnumber those who have been tested by government agencies due to the unavailability of testing kits.
There is also palpable fear amongst Nigerians over the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading and lack of medical facilities and preparedness by both the federal and state governments.
Although as part of their philanthropic gesture, some wealthy Nigerians, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, have been donating testing kits and protective items to Nigeria to help combat the virus, a huge number of potentially infected persons are yet to be tested, increasing the risk of an epidemic in the West African state.
According to the diplomat on Friday, “We could be having tens of thousands of confirmed cases across Nigeria in a few days from now.
“There are thousands of people with the virus already on the loose in the country and many of these people cannot be traced. They have taken this pandemic into every nook and cranny of this country.
“I think Nigeria must act fast to avert a full-blown war.”
Already, there have been reported cases of people being asked to self-isolate after reporting to health agencies of having symptoms of the Covid-19 virus.
Without proper monitoring and stringent measures to ensure such persons do not expose others to infection in case they have the virus, thousands of individuals in this category have gone on with their daily activities and opened up the chance of an epidemic in the country.
As a result of this lacklustre and unsatisfactory approach to the pandemic by the Nigerian government, some European countries have started evacuating their citizens from Nigeria.
Nairametrics had reported that An Air France flight on Thursday, airlifted 260 Europeans from Nigeria to France to prevent them from being infected with the virus.
Also on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing CB, said the mission was exploring available options to send staff and their families back to the United Kingdom.