Interstate Movement: Need for more caution

NCDC Chairman

President Muhammadu Buhari in his review of the state of the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria by the Task Force set up by the government took far reaching steps to relax some of the measures. One of the measures relaxed include the restrictions on interstate movement which had confined people to their states excepting those involved in the movement of food items and other essential commodities.
Speaking through the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, Buhari after the review of the 5th Interim report by the PTF stated that the government has approved the safe resumption of domestic flights in the country. He went on to say that there is ”permission of movement across state borders only outside curfew hours with effect from Ist July, 2020”.
The reason there was a restriction on interstate interaction was prompted by the need to stem the spread of the scourge from areas of more concentration to other states. The reason for that concern was not eliminated yet though it would appear that Covid-19 may have gone round the states of the federation. Lifting the ban, no doubt would have some positive implication on the total economy of the country but it calls for serious caution.
The need for caution is hinged on the fact the 5th Interim report indicated that 60% of the coronavirus is concentrated in 18 local governments of the country. It cannot be ruled that the expected movement from these areas of concentration would help to further spike up the spread of the virus. We also note that in the previous reviews during which the measures were relaxed also contributed to the reported increase in the spread.
It is very clear that COVID-19 has come to stay with us and though there is growing consciousness resulting from all the sensitization effort there are still so may Nigerians who believe that the scourge is a scam. Their arguments most times is hinged on the manner the government itself is handling the management of the pandemic leading them to conclude that the management is a smokescreen to siphon state resources into private pockets.
Edge Express wishes to urge the government not to relax in the effort to curb the spread. If anything, this is the time to intensify efforts irrespective of the pressure coming from some social groups bothering on their selfish interest.
When I reflect about our approach as a country to the pandemic it is very disappointing and would make you wonder if we should actually claim to be an independent nation when we subordinate our survival at critical moments to what is offered us by other nations. We pride ourselves with a lot of things some of which are true though. But the giant nation we claim falls flat on its face when serious issues such as the pandemic confront us.
Edge Express is of the view that the government should look beyond its current actions of adopting measures from other nations and institute not just our own home grown measures peculiar to our environment but also seek the invention of the necessary drugs. While other nations are researching to find solutions, the president should task all the stakeholders in the health sector to come out with the appropriate drugs. We commend the federal government efforts in recognizing the use of herbal medicine as a possible remedy. It should go beyond that to actualize the effort.

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