President Muhammadu Buhari will finally address Nigerians on Sunday as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to rise by the day.
“President Muhammadu Buhari will broadcast to the nation Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 7pm. Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) respectively for the broadcast,” spokesman Femi Adesina said in a brief statement.
Nigeria now has 97 confirmed cases of coronavirus. One person has died and three have recovered.
There are now 59 confirmed cases in Lagos, 14 in the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, 3 in Ogun, 1 in Ekiti, 7 in Oyo, 2 in Edo, 2 in Bauchi, 2 in Osun, 2 in Rivers and 2 in Enugu, 1 in Benue and 1 in Kaduna, the Nigerian center of disease control (NCDC) said in a tweet on Saturday.
Nigeria has taken some measures, with school closures, borders’ closures, crowd control measures and sensitization campaigns on hygiene and respiratory etiquettes, including sneezing and coughing away from people.
Despite the few cases, the World Health Organization(WHO) on Friday sent a dire warning to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, to stop the spread of COVID-19 now that cases are still few or it may be too late, too hard, or almost impossible to deal with a much bigger and wider crisis.
Speaking from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Nigeria should seize the opportunity now that it has few cases to stop the virus from spreading by conducting enough testing, identifying those who test positive, isolating them and following up with contacts’ tracing.
He said those early measures would prevent the disease from growing from sporadic cases to a community transmission that may become harder to contain.
“The problem comes when community transmission starts, when the number of cases builds,” Dr. Ghebreyesus said, adding that when that happens, it becomes difficult or almost impossible to “quarantine” many people.
“The growing number of cases means the healthcare system could be overwhelmed,” he said, adding that Nigeria needs to cut the spread of COVID-19 now before it’s too late.
He said Nigeria should invest more in public health interventions and follow WHO guidelines about COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the deadly bug.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.