As the Covid-19 pandemic rages, the vast discussion of the scope of Nigeria’s response remains largely informal. It is now time to re-evaluate and walk back our national response policy and strategy, if we really hope to stop the virus from spreading exponentially. In realization that we will not have enough testing kits, personal protection equipments (PPE) and ventilators any time soon to cover those that are infected nationally and that the prospect of a vaccine remains remote, we must re-strategize.
Presently the status quo is as follows. First, testing of the national population is infinitesimal; Second, the testing site-population ratio is 1: 20 million; Third, voluntary and partial lockdown is not working; Fourth, social distancing is not working optimally and not rigorously enforced; and Fifth, the social palliative intervention is skewed, marginal and dysfunctional.
We therefore need to urgently take the following public health measures:
* Go back to spread-mitigation via mandatory one month national lockdown;
* Prior to lockdown, institute nationwide palliative intervention using state and community structures;
* Make wearing masks mandatory nationwide; and
* Continue identifying, isolating and treating those already infected.
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.