Coronavirus in view: Weighing in on lockdown

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Methods for the general public, as well as health workers, to identify carriers of the virus have been widely publicised as far as checking off exhibition of any telling symptoms; including coughing, feeling feverish, experiencing a weakening of senses (taste, sight, smell) and difficulty in breathing.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) putting the incubation period for the infected to first display these symptoms between 1-14 days, governments the world over have effected movement restrictions and stay-at-home orders, both in accordance with this knowledge and in a bid to ensure those already carrying the virus do not pass it on.

From the genesis of the novel virus’ discovery in Nigeria, the federal government (FG) has overseen the closure of various areas where crowding was inevitable and shutting down of entry points in/out of various locales to prevent its transmission.

Late last month, the president’s order for the cessation of movement in major cities and the initiative taken by other states to follow suit have been amongst the most marked attempts to curb the sweep of coronavirus in the country.

While these efforts have caused much strife between citizens and the government, with people maintaining that the imminent starvation of lower class individuals as well as the mistreating of those alleged to be contravening such orders by task force members are to be considered larger issues, the positive results of isolation are undeniable.

The need to effectively curtail its spread, while the infected are treated and a race to discover a vaccine and cure go on worldwide, is imperative; which is why after the lapse of the first order, there has been a renewal of the lockdown order, which is now indefinite.

As expected, this announcement has not been met by positivity in some circles due to the impending inconveniences.

But, with current news of neighbouring Ghana relaxing their own ban despite a wave of new cases, the question on the scale of priorities as regards governments for citizens wellbeing is raised.

During a crisis such as this, should the economic or health interests of citizens take centre stage?

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