Nigeria’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caught the attention of United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, who described it as remarkable.
Speaking during a virtual news briefing in New York on Friday, Mr Guterres singled out Nigeria as one of few developing countries that have shown a remarkable capacity to respond to the pandemic.
“I have to say that some of these developing countries have shown remarkable capacity to respond.
“I was quite impressed to see, for instance, Nigeria putting in place immediately in a stadium and a hospital.
“And I saw difficulties in countries that are much more developed to do quickly the same.
“So, there are efforts done by countries in the developing world that we should point to because they represent a very strong determination.
“But the resources available are, of course, insufficient, and the health services are usually extremely out of proportion with the needs of a pandemic like this,” Guterres said.
Guterres’ response is in line with a question that sought his opinion on early confinement measures by some countries with fragile health systems to check the spread of the virus.
He referred to the conversion of the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium, Onikan, Lagos, by the state government to a 101-bed isolation centre for patients.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, as of 11 a.m., Friday, there were 210 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with Lagos accounting for 98 cases.
The state has discharged 23 patients as of Thursday morning, the Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, said, bringing the total recoveries to 24 nationwide.
There had also been a massive response at the national level, including the setting up of a Presidential Task Force to control the virus in the country, with the first case announced on February 28.
Among other measures, President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 18 imposed a travel ban on 13 countries with high cases of the virus.
The president on Sunday, March 29, directed a lockdown on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states, while the NCDC is boosting its testing and contact tracing capacity.