By Abdulkabir Olatunji
A simple model of the degree of exposure that people infected with Covid-19 have had to other members of the public after majority arrived in Nigeria from countries with larger infection rates shows that there is high likelihood of underreporting of the number of infections of coronavirus in Nigeria — this is true of other countries and the global count as well.
So far, officially as I write, no deaths from Covid-19 infection have been recorded in Nigeria. This begs the question: what are we doing right with treatment of the coronavirus that other countries aren’t? Also, it is important to realise that the suspicion that some infected people have not been identified suggests that these people are somehow effectively treating the disease and avoiding becoming fatalities. Otherwise, an already panicked Nigerian public would have raised alarm over such deaths. This of course, is not helpful in curtailing the spread from person to person as an infected person can by asymptomatic (showing no symptoms of the disease).
However, we need to research, the drugs or remedies that Nigerians are using to manage this disease. There might be beneficial medicines, herbs or remedies that work in fighting it. We owe the world a duty to carry out detailed research and discover what is really the source of Nigeria’s low death rate from coronavirus.
This could be our gift to the world during this global crisis and a great way to curtail its effects on our people, society and economy. Potential shutdowns of cities or the entire country could mean economic collapse of Nigeria that could end up killing more people than the coronavirus will directly.
I am aware that some people are against my line of reasoning, their argument is that there are no valuable trends in Nigeria to be observed and that as long as we try our best to prevent the disease with effective social mobilization and education, we should be fine. Some have even called for shutdowns as if those are tea parties without their own costs to people and government.
To me, while there are merits to some of these arguments, the suggestion that Nigerians cannot find a cure or show the world how to effectively treat the disease as a defeatist mentality and an exhibition of low self-esteem. Nigeria despite its numerous challenges is still a great country with humongous human and material resources. Gifting the world a cure to Covid-19 is not beyond us with the right attitude and mentality.