The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with how fast it’s spreading across Nigeria is an indicator that the country is still far from defeating the virus. From November 2020, the number of infections gradually began to rise, and by mid-December, the numbers rose to over 1000 new cases daily.
Following the first wave, Nigerians were urged to adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines, but with about 1270 new cases recorded as of 12th December 2021, it appears that many citizens have thrown caution to the wind.
Although the government has stated on several occasions that there isn’t going to be another lockdown, the second wave of the pandemic has begun to play a major role in other aspects of decision making.
One of such instances is a statement from the government about shutting down train services if all protocols are not followed. The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi expressed his thoughts saying, “…Kaduna to Abuja, we convey 4,000 passengers a day. Imagine that about 20 percent have COVID, they can transmit to the entire passengers.” If this happens, those who rely on train services for their daily/weekly commute would be gravely affected alongside businesses and other stakeholders.
Another decision influenced by the pandemic, is the resumption date for universities and schools. The government, in light of the rising cases has begun to review the resumption date of 18 January, 2021. The Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu has said that the initial date was just a working target which is subject to constant review, depending on the happenings in the society. “We looked at the rising figures and thought we should take another look at it. On the January 18th, 2021 date for school resumption, we are reviewing it,” he added. Already, university students have been home for 9 months owing to lockdown measures and a strike action launched by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Overall, learning at various levels have also been distorted by the pandemic.
While another lockdown isn’t in view just yet, the second wave of the pandemic has proven that it can still affect Nigerians in more ways than one. Thus, since it is impossible to know what new decisions may arise as a result of the pandemic, the only option is to follow the COVID-19 safety measures and hope that the number of new cases begins to reduce.
By N.N David Duke