As the 14-day lockdown extension announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 13, 2020, elapses today, there has been divided opinion as to whether the lockdown should be extended to further curtail the spread of the virus or it should be relaxed in order to allow economic activities return.
The novel COVID-19 virus which was first reported in Wuhan, China last December is now a global pandemic ravaging many countries of the world including Nigeria.
According to worldometers.info as of April 27, 2020, 07:57 GMT, there are 3,002,887 Coronavirus cases globally with 207,080 deaths and 882,482 recoveries.
In Nigeria, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) as of 26th April 2020 reported that it has 91 new cases putting the number of confirmed cases at 1273, 40 deaths, and 239 recoveries.
In this report, we look at the top 5 events that went down during the last 2 weeks even as we await the President’s decision by 8 pm tonight.
1. Abba Kyari’s death
The death of the former Chief of Staff to the President was indeed one of the devastating Covid-19 news during the lockdown extension.
The former Chief of Staff who was one of several high profile political figures in Nigeria to have contracted the virus tested positive on March 23, 2020, after his return from an official trip to Germany and Egypt.
The 67-year-old Shuwa Arab descent of Borno State immediately went into self-isolation but due to persistent symptoms, he transferred to a private hospital in Lagos for intensive care, according to him in a letter he personally signed on March 29, it was based on medical advice as a precautionary measure and the personal care arrangements was done to avoid further burdening the public health system, which faces so much pressure. He promised to get back to his desk.
But, it came as a rude shock when The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, made the announced his death in the early hours of March 17 on his verified Twitter handle @FemAdesina.
The deceased who has been described by many as loyal, hardworking and a very important figure was laid the rest on the same day at Gudu Cemetery, Abuja.
2. The many extrajudicial killings
As the country battles the novel Covid-19 disease, one of the aims of the lockdowns in various parts of the country especially Lagos, FCT, and Ogun state is to curtail the spread of the virus and ramp up testings. As a result, security operatives were deployed to the streets, major highways and borders to help enforce the stay-at-home orders.
However, the deployments turned sour as some security operatives saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the stay-at-home orders took laws into their hands by engaging in extrajudicial killings, this development sparked outrage.
This wanton act was reported in Warri, Delta state, some part of the South East especially in Ohafia, Abia State, and Lagos.
3. Lagos and Ogun unrest
In a similar development, residents in some areas in Lagos and Ogun state lived in fear as they had a tasking and disturbing time battling the terrorism of a group of boys referred to as “1 million boys” amid the stay-at-home order.
Throughout the lockdown extension period, the social media was awash with news of robberies and attacks carried out serially by the group in different areas like Ijoko, Ifo, Sango, Alagbado, Iyana Ipaja, Agege, Ogba, Ejigbo, and Surulere among others.
Also, due to the little or no response from various security authorities, residents took it upon themselves to protect their territories by carrying out vigilante duties themselves, staying awake through the night, and burning tires on the streets.
Though, arrests were made by the security agencies and both state governments assured residents of their security of lives and properties.
4. Increase in new cases
As of April 13, 2020, when the president announced the lockdown extension the number of new confirmed cases as well as deaths in Nigeria has been on the rise spreading to all states and FCT excluding Kogi, Nasarawa, Cross River and Yobe states.
On April 13, 2020, only 19 states and the FCT had at least one case or more with Lagos recording the most cases. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) recorded 343 confirmed cases, 91 discharged and 10 deaths compared to the figures recorded on April 27, 2020 (2 weeks after) which stands at 1273 confirmed cases, 239 discharged, and 40 deaths.
5. Strange deaths in Kano
Kano state, one of Nigeria’s most populous states in Nigeria, recorded its first case of Coronavirus on April 13, 2020 (2 weeks ago). However, as of yesterday, the number of confirmed cases in the state has grown exponentially from 2 new cases to 77 new cases in less than two weeks.
Although, COVID-19 testing has temporarily closed the in Kano State because some staff of the laboratory was reported to have been infected with COVID-19 and the centre also ran short of some testing reagents but it’s alarming to note that the number of death has been on the rise in recent weeks, it was reported that the state recorded 23 high profile deaths in 24 hours but these deaths were unconnected to COVID-19.
The state government has denied this development finally acknowledged these ‘strange deaths’, saying they were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis, and acute malaria according to The Cable.
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