According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the novel coronavirus (aka COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic. The COVID-19 virus which started in Wuhan China, has quickly spread to every continent on the planet (except Antarctica).
Read more about Corona Virus
The virus strain causing COVID-19 (the SARS-CoV-2) is believed to have jumped from animal host to human hosts in Wuhan China. The first cases of the virus were seen among people living within China, those who had travelled there and had close contacts of travellers. And as these people interact with other people in unaffected communities, an exponential leap in number of cases becomes the norm due to community spread.
The frightening thing about this illness is that most carriers do not show symptoms from the moment they get infected till 14 days later. With the influx of travellers into Nigeria from affected countries, the COVID-19 has not only entered Nigeria but has began spreading in communities.
In order to reduce our exposure to the virus, the Federal Government of Nigeria instituted travel restrictions as well as visa issuance restriction on countries where the spread of the disease is over 1,000 confirmed cases. The ban is effective from March 21st 2020.
Here are the countries affected by the travel ban and their confirmed cases as at March 20, 2020:
- China – 80,967
- Italy – 41,035
- Iran – 18,407
- Spain – 18,077
- Germany – 15,4366
- USA – 14,366
- France – 10,995
- South Korea – 8,652
- Switzerland – 4,222
- UK – 3,269
- Netherlands – 2,460
- Norway – 1,795
- Japan – 963
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Note: The more testing is carried out, the higher the number of confirmed cases will become. At the moment, there are still 148,307 active cases under surveillance.
The decision for the travel restriction was announced on the 18th of March 2020. This became imperative when the number of confirmed cases within the Nigeria moved from 2 cases as at March 12th to 12 cases in less than a week with most of the index cases being travellers from these countries.
Travellers from high risk countries are advised to self-isolate themselves for 14 days. High risk countries are countries with Level 3 Travel Health Notice i.e. widespread, ongoing transmission of a disease/infection, in this case, it is COVID-19. If you know anyone who just has been in contact with any traveller from these places, start self isolation and encourage them to do the same.
While the worldwide death toll of 10,064 can be scary, it is important to note that 88, 510 people out of 246, 881 people have recovered from this disease. Coronavirus does not have to become a death sentence. Do all you can to prevent it and if you do get it, protect others by social distancing, resting and staying hydrated.
If you need to get tested or confirm if any symptom you may have is coronavirus related, call the following numbers: 09092996283, 08095553232, 07087110839. You can Whatsapp 08099555577 and SMS toll free to 08009700000 or Call 08009700010 toll free. You can also report to @FMoHNigeria or @NCDCgov.
Stay safe people.
Vanguard NGR online
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