I do not routinely comment on policy actions of ANSG. However, there is a time to speak up. While not privy to the reasons that informed Anambra State authorities relaxing it’s lockdown policy and “movement around Anambra,” I am extremely concerned that such a precipitate policy action will have dire public health repercussions, more so since it is not accompanied by aggressive in-state testing.
While mindful of the deleterious economic impact of a lockdown on Anambra population and businesses, I am firmly of the view that Anambra State can ill-afford to be blind to the total lack of census of asymptomatic Covid-19 carriers within the State. Also, State authorities cannot ignore the attendant cumulative R-Value; that is the number of people being infected daily by such unidentified infected persons. Neither can Anambra authorities ignore the fact that coronavirus is invisible, nimble, has trans-boundary capacity, and will spread exponentially. Anambra State authorities must draw evidence-based lessons from Kano State that went from zero to 74 cases in less than one week, and thus take extreme measures to protect its population.
Consequently, Anambra State authorities must be cognizant that allowing even one or two unidentified, untested carriers unfettered access to Anambra’s general population, local communities, markets and churches, will certainly and needlessly precipitate a public health crisis in the days ahead. I pray earnestly that I am wrong!
Oseloka H. Obaze,
25 April 2020
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.