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How COVID-19 destroyed social fabric in Lagos, other states

By Chukwuma Muanya, Adaku Onyenucheya and Stanley Akpunonu
29 February 2020   |   4:13 am
There is anxiety in Lagos and other states as citizens were greeted with the news of the first coronavirus case in Nigeria.

Shops Run Out Of Protective Masks, Sanitisers
There is anxiety in Lagos and other states as citizens were greeted with the news of the first coronavirus case in Nigeria.

With mutual suspicion between landlords and their tenants, neighbours now live like strangers to avoid being infected.

At a particular area in Akowonjo, Lagos State, a landlady was seen screaming aloud to her tenants not to allow visitors into their houses, while a woman was seen complaining that she greeted her neighbour who refused to respond and moved away quickly to avoid body contact.

Freedom Andy, who resides in Egbeda part of Lagos, told his friends not to visit him for the time being till the issue of coronavirus subsides.

On his reason, he explained to The Guardian: “I am scared, I don’t want to die. All my friends should stop coming to my house for now because everybody is a suspect, since the man who brought the coronavirus had contact with people while moving around Lagos to Ogun State.”

Commuters also look at their fellow passengers with suspicion.

Other states of the country are also in distress.

A resident of Ibadan, Oyo State, who identified himself as Ebenezer, expressed fear of contracting the virus, noting that the Italian patient might have visited other states as well.

The Guardian learnt that many people had been trooping to health outlets to purchase nose mask and hand sanitiser. But there seemed to be scarcity occasioned by high demand, according to the Secretary of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Jonah Okotie.

He told The Guardian that many Nigerians, upon hearing the news about the virus in the country, had been looking for hand sanitisers and nose masks to buy.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been urged to take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families.

They were advised not to abuse the social media by spreading rumour that could cause fear and panic, as government would continue to provide updates and initiate measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in the country.

Despite government’s efforts, Nigerians are scaling up measures to prevent contacting the virus.

When The Guardian visited some drug shops, it was observed that all of the shops were out of protective masks as the index case triggered panic buying which also led to increase in prices.

At GraceView pharmacy shop in Lagos, the shop attendant told The Guardian that they had run out of the mask, as a man came very early in the morning and cleared the stock.

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