By Omeiza Ajayi
Fears of massive community transmission of the Novel Coronavirus has hit the nation’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja following the discovery of 12 positive cases in Mabushi, a local community in the heart of the city.
On Saturday, 49 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Nigeria, with 12 of such cases in Abuja. There had been few cases in Mabushi but the majority of cases uncovered on Saturday were from the village, with health officials now putting the total at 12. One case was also uncovered at Gishiri village, another low-income but densely populated community in the territory. None of the identified cases had any recent history of foreign travel or coming in contact with a returnee.
An infectious disease expert in the Federal Capital Territory FCT Administration who spoke on the condition that his identity be covered as he was not authorised to speak to the Press, said the epidemiological situation of the territory was worrying.
He said; “Due to the fear of community transmission, we had embarked on community active case search. We focused on Mpape due to its proximity to Maitama where we had a lot of cases. Then we went to Gishiri. We got one positive case. What is worrisome is the situation in Mabushi where we have gotten 12 positive cases already”.
He said officials are working round the clock to trace all contacts related to the identified cases.
While he praised the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello for his assistance to health workers, he warned residents against trying to circumvent the rules of the lockdown, describing the Covid-19 pandemic as “an existential threat which must be tackled by all means possible”.
While FCT had 81 confirmed cases as of Saturday night, there were 56 active cases, 23 discharged patients and two fatalities.
The Federal Government had last week disclosed that it now has evidence of “community transmission” of the Coronavirus, and stressed the need for Nigerians to continue to obey all containment protocols put in place by the Federal and sub-national governments.
According to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; “We have early evidence of community transmission already which reinforces the urgency of physical distancing, use of face masks particularly where you know you cannot avoid the crowd and also the maintenance of hand and respiratory hygiene as well as strict adherences to measures and regulations as announced by the President yesterday”.