Businesses could be back on the brink of scrambling for strategies to escape the weight of an economy at standstill as the surge of COVID-19 third wave brings Nigeria closer to a possible lockdown decision. Businesses could be back on the brink of scrambling for strategies to escape the weight of an economy at standstill as the surge of COVID-19 third wave brings Nigeria closer to a possible lockdown decision.
The peak of Nigeria’s third wave of Covid-19 pandemic has begun, disease experts confirm, predicting that further rise in infections should be expected in the coming days as weak compliance with preventive measures persist.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported a 222 percent rise in infections on Wednesday as 1, 149 new cases were confirmed. The spike following a daily average of 560 infections since the beginning of August marks the start of what experts describe as a peaking curve, which they say isn’t shocking since community spread of the virus has continued and importation through in-bound travellers keep pacing.
If the rate of new infections blows out of the government’s control, businesses still struggling to match their growth with pre-pandemic levels could lose current gains of recovery. The last time Nigeria saw a similar amount of single-daily infections was in December 2020 (1,145 cases) just as the second wave of the pandemic began to peak towards 2,314.
Oyewale Tomori, a professor of virology in a chat with BusinessDay wondered why many Nigerians still do not believe the COVID-19 virus is circulating in the country despite rising numbers from only one-third of the 36 states.
Caution has been thrown to the wind since governments lifted lockdown and eased activities in many sectors of the economy. People stopped wearing masks, hand-washing basins have disappeared in public places and physical distancing are not maintained except in some corporate organisations.
The rising cases are especially bad news for business entities in Lagos state where a majority of the cases (37.6 percent) come from and has the potential to be hardest hit by any severe measure taken to stop the virus in its tracks. “Masks can stop the virus in its tracks including the variants,” Tomori, former vice-chancellor of Bowen University told BusinessDay.
“More important than government regulation and guidelines is the compliance by the citizens. We, the people, play a more important role than the government in covid19 control.”