Covid-19 in Abuja: A new reality

There are now two problems to appreciate in Abuja, FCT:
1: The government is planning to relax the lockdown in Abuja on Monday, though the number of cases of Covid-19 is increasing in the country and in Abuja. Abuja recorded its highest number so far in the past few weeks.

2: The number of cases in Kano and the lockdown there is leading to an increase in people trooping into Abuja. The denial of the government in Kano about the cases, the subsequent lockdown and then the Governor of Kano asking for relaxation of the lockdown is leading to a mass exodus of people from Kano to neighbouring states and of course, into Abuja. There is no confidence in the government in Kano and in the capacity of the NCDC to curtail the problem. Many people are voting with their feet. They have been seen hiding in lorries and other means of transportation into Kaduna and Osun States.

This is particularly worrisome as we are now seeing young men on the streets begging for alms and for food in the capital city. This trend will continue as many are not ordinarily resident in Abuja and so will have a hard time. This will also lead to increase in crime in Abuja apart from the risk of transmitting Covid-19.

Therefore. it seems to me that we are on the edge of the abyss in Abuja.
The next two weeks calls for EXTRA care, diligence and attention to personal safety. Please kindly avoid interaction with the public. Stay home and stay safe. Also, be aware of your personal safety and security at home. You must be extra careful with security at this time and at night since we do not have a responsive and responsible Police force. You are unlikely to have Policemen responding to an emergency request in the middle of the night.

There is a sad reality for us: As a hospital, we will not be able to help you or your family members. We are not a covid-19 registered hospital. Since it is also difficult to test patients coming to the hospital, we assume EVERYONE is POSITIVE and so, we have closed our doors to all new and old patients. This does not matter whether you are resident in Abuja or coming from Kano.
It seems the best way to protect our staff and avoid the compulsory lockdown and decontamination currently being meted out to PRIVATE HOSPITALS all over the country. The government is still INSISTING that private hospitals should not treat such patients.

Conversely, patients prefer to go to private hospitals in preference to the public hospitals managing Covid-19 cases. This puts many private hospitals at risk as patients lie about their symptoms and travel history.
This is really why we have decided not to take the risk and have shut down temporarily.

Let us reiterate the following: The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth. Regardless, this disease is an efficient killer. The best treatment is to avoid contracting the Corona virus.
If you have to go out during the day, please kindly wear a mask and practice PHYSICAL DISTANCING.

Facemasks are very important in prevention of the spread of this virus. Facemasks especially the high grade masks used by doctors and nurses, offer the highest level of protection, because they prevent the germs from penetrating the mask. Additional plastic face shields used by doctors, offer a second physical barrier.

The point is to prevent the virus from getting to your eyes, nose and mouth. This is the same reason why we tell people to wash their hands, because alcohol or soap can kill the virus and so prevent you from carrying it into your eyes, nose or mouth.

The virus is transmitted to people through breathing it in or carrying it on the hands to the face. We now know that many people can shed the virus without knowing it. Many patients without any symptoms can be carriers of the virus: shedding it when talking, sneezing or coughing. So, someone who looks well, talking to you, can inadvertently give you the virus. You also know that some people spit when talking. Imagine that!

So, if you are wearing a facemask in such a situation, you are protecting yourself. Someone with the virus and without symptoms will not be spitting it out into the air. Someone talking to such a person will also reduce their risk of catching the virus IF they are wearing a mask or a barrier.

A word is enough for the wise. Stay home. Stay safe.

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