Friday, December 18, 2020 / 02.20 PM / By CSL Research / Header Image Credit: The Africa Report
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the country recorded the highest number of 1,145 new Covid-19 cases on 17 December, even as a few prominent public officials have tested positive for the disease. The total Covid-19 cases in Nigeria now stands at 76,207, while 67,110 cases have been discharged and 1,201 deaths have been recorded so far. Earlier on Thursday, the secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Mr. Boss Mustapha, officially declared a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
We recall that in March, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a 14-day lockdown in three major states (Lagos, Ogun and Abuja) in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. However, as the number of the cases began to grow exponentially, the entire country was shut down. The effect of the nationwide lockdown was seen in the Nigeriaâ€™s economy contracting by 6.1% year on year in the second quarter of this year, Nigeriaâ€™s steepest decline in the last 10 years.The lockdown had adverse effects on both households and businesses as many Nigerians are daily wage earners and the disruption to the supply chain impacted businesses negatively. This plunged the country into the second recession in four years with consumer purchasing power badly eroded.
With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, there is the possibility of another lockdown. Many citizens no longer take covid-19 precautions. Face masks and hand washing are no longer enforced in many shopping malls, places of worship and other public places. A large majority of the populace even deny the existence of covid-19. Considering the fragile healthcare system, widespread infections may take a toll on the country. The second wave of COVID-19 in Europe led to another phase of lockdowns but we are concerned that the fragile Nigerian economy may be unable to withstand another nationwide lockdown. We are also concerned that a lockdown may not only be ineffective as it may be difficult to enforce but will also punctuate the expected economic recovery in 2021e.