Coronavirus Disease Confirmed in Nigeria as Markets Dive Amidst Fears of Global Recession.
BY: WINSALA GBOTEMI.
The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in Lagos State, Nigeria. The case was confirmed on 27th February 2020, as an Italian business traveler was reported to have arrived in Lagos from Milan on 25th February 2020. This case is said to be the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the inception of the outbreak in China in January 2020. Assumptions that the coronavirus would be contained to China have passed as the principal case in sub-Saharan Africa was reported in Nigeria and stock markets took a dive amid fears of global recessions.
Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy. With 206 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous nation on earth. The Nigerian case is just the third to be confirmed in Africa something that has mystified health specialists given the continent’s strong relationship to China. The diagnosis was confirmed at the virology laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
”The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is under treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s federal health minister, said in a statement. “Nigeria is one of the 13 countries identified as high priority by WHO and experts are already on the ground,” said the organization. As part of containment endeavors, the health ministry also says it has started working to identify and track down potential contacts of the country’s coronavirus case.
Nigeria is put on the map one more time, as the nation’s successful response to the Ebola virus (EVD) earned her a great deal of respect. The Nigerian government has been strengthening measures to ensure that the index case doesn’t become a pandemic. This time around, Nigerian public health officials are being a lot more intentional about their preparations, from announcing public health reports and warnings to administering specialized training for rapid response teams across every state in the country.
Markets may face a serious reckoning as coronavirus slows growth. For instance, China’s economic growth is expected to slow to 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020 the slowest pace since the financial crisis, according to a Reuters poll of economists. “Global oil demand has been hit hard by the novel coronavirus,” says the International Energy Agency. Factory closings are impeding the stream of merchandise and parts from China, hitting companies around the world, including Apple and Nissan. As the global spread of the coronavirus becomes inevitable, the economic damage is mounting around the world.
China’s economy, which is the second-largest on the earth, and whose manufacturing and production sectors serve as a workshop to the rest of the world, has taken a drastic hit because of its response to coronavirus. Global businesses are now suffering from supply chain issues. Coronavirus could hinder global growth considerably because the world economy is more dependent on China than ever.
The coronavirus would possibly have tenacious effects on global demand as well as lengthy impacts on supply chains and trade. The US dollar index reached a three-year high as investors worried about the global coronavirus outbreak. The impact of a strengthened dollar is not far fetched as consuming nations would be very affected since the US Dollar is a benchmark for global trade while producing nations would experience difficulty in production, as labor is a key factor of production. International trade, on the other hand, would not be left out, as the demand and supply mechanism would be heavily truncated by the coronavirus, as supply creates demand and no nation of the world can exist in autarky.
According to a statement released by the Nigeria center for disease control, the honorable minister of health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire emphasized that “All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below:”
“1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
2. Maintain at least 1 & half meters (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in-crowd.
4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication
6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health.”
Nigerians should not panic and should pay more attention to respiratory hygiene. Both scientists from Nigeria and all over the world are working together to find out the source of the virus and a vaccine.
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