Editorial:

Hope Uzodinma

Relaxed lockdown: Time for extra precautionary measures

As part of the measures to stem the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus which enveloped the entire globe governments all over the world instituted lockdown measures which forced people to remain at home. For more than six weeks activities were shut down all over Nigeria which consequences have elicited pressure on the government to relax the measures.

The major outcome of the sit at home order is hunger which took its toll among the people especially the vulnerable poor and those whose source their livelihoods from daily struggles. The government efforts and the efforts of good spirited individuals to provide some palliatives did not appear to meet in any way the hunger affecting the people.

Besides, the toll on society and on the governments is unquantifiable. It is understandable therefore why the pressure was mounted on the government. The other advanced countries report also indicated have taken measures too to relax their lock down considerably to allow a breathing space.

Consequently, the governments in giving a listening ear have relaxed the measures allowing some food markets, supermarkets to run for limited hours. In some states the governments have alternated days when business activities will run for a stated period and other days for lockdown. In the capital city of Owerri and other areas activities appear to have picked up as shops and offices are opened.

The excitement with which people have bounced back to business appears to indicate that there is an end to the scourge whereas this is not the case. The arrangement to re-open activities is predicated on political and socio-economic considerations and not based on any medical and scientific justifications.

Medical historians have also indicated that most pandemics come in waves. Specifically reference is made to the Spanish flu of 1918 to 1921 which occurred in three waves. After the first wave everyone sauntered into the streets unguarded oblivious of the fact that the pandemic was still very much alive. The result was the second most deadly wave in which an estimated 35 million people lost their lives.

History, we must note, has a way of repeating itself. For now there is no justifiable reason to suggest that Covid-19 will not be around until a vaccine is produced. The manner with which people are approaching their activities without observing the necessary precautions leaves much to be desired.

It is on account of this that Edge Express wishes to warn the citizens not to relax their guards. It is at this period that extra precautionary measures should be observed given the recent identified cases in Imo State. Aside that, emerging from the seemingly forced holiday, people are likely to fall into the temptation of forgetting that the dreaded scourge has not been exterminated.

We also advise the government to step up its awareness campaign and drum it louder so that the citizens will continually keep to the observances especially in keeping the distance rule. What is happening in the markets and the number of passengers found in commercial vehicles does not indicate that the people are in compliance. We commend the government’s efforts so far and advise that it should strive to sustain and improve on the gains made so far.

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