Dr Tolulope Osayomi, a medical geographer in the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan, on Sunday said the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja is critical in preventing the spread of the coronavirus to other parts of the country.
He stated this in Ibadan while reacting to the raging COVID-19 and government’s response to curtail its spread.
The don also urged government to place a ban on inter-state vehicular movement except for transportation of essential goods to check transmission.
Osayomi, who has been mapping the transmission of the virus in Nigeria since the Italian index case, stated that the lockdown in the affected areas would ultimately halt transmission.
To achieve the desired effect in Ogun, Lagos and Abuja, Osayomi, however, called for adequate palliatives for vulnerable persons to encourage observance of the stay-at-home directive.
Speaking on ” Understanding the Geography of Transmission of COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Osayomi said that there should be equitable distribution of palliatives to indigent and vulnerable populations.
“Lagos, the country’s economic capital has over 50 per cent of the country’s cases while the administrative capital, the Federal Capital territory (FCT), accounts for a little over 20 per cent of the total.
” In the light of the fact that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease, it is very likely that a significant proportion of the country’s population will be susceptible to infection.
“Thus, a careful examination of the geographical distribution and the possible underlying factors of COVID-19 in Nigeria is fundamental to its prevention and control,” he said.
He also called for strict enforcement of ban on vehicular movements as well as large gatherings.
“NCDC, in partnership with mobile service providers, should provide a three-digit toll free number for the public to call or text in any event,” Osayomi said.
He also added that there should be an enforced limit on the number of passengers public transport operators could convey as well as mass distribution of face masks and hand sanitisers.