COVID-19 в Нигерии: вызовы и прогнозы
In the late 2019 – early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread all over the world, including in Africa. The “Giant of Africa”– Nigeria – registered the first case of infection in February, and in March the government already took a number of anti-crisis measures, including the closure of all airports for international flights and the suspension of the issuance of visas to citizens of many countries. In addition, on March 30, entry into Abuja, Lagos, and another 12 major cities, as well as interstate travel, was severely restricted; all offices and enterprises were closed, except for those of strategic importance; mass events and even walking on the street without a mask and unless in emergency was prohibited. Unlike Arab countries, which tightened measures to combat the pandemic only after the deaths of hundreds of citizens, the Nigerian authorities did not await for the virus to take a foothold. They began to act after the very first death, despite the small total number of infected. As a result, the spread of the COVID-19 in the densely populated country of 200 million people was slower than in South Africa and countries of North Africa. Owing to the experience gained in 2014 during the Ebola epidemic, which at the time affected several countries in West Africa, Nigeria was better than many other African countries prepared for the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
In early May, despite the continued increase in the number of infected, the government had to ease the regime of self-isolation due to the threat of political destabilization and economic recession, falling incomes of citizens against the backdrop of the frozen economy, rising unemployment and, as a result, growing dissatisfaction with safety measures on the part of Nigerians, whose deplorable financial situation exorcised from their minds the threat the virus.