Metro & Crime

Lockdown averted 5.8m COVID-19 infections in Nigeria – Study

A study conducted by a team of international public health researchers has shown that the COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions imposed by the Federal Government in 2020, may have helped to avert no fewer than 5.8 million COVID-19 infections in the country.
The researchers are drawn from institutions in three countries: Parexel International, Harvard university and Holly Hill hospital in the United States; Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in South Africa; Benue State University, Universities of Ibadan, Lagos and Calabar.
The closures and restrictions were initiated on March 30, 2020 and partially eased on May 4, 2020. The researchers used sophisticated statistical techniques to analyze NCDC data on daily infection counts, anonymized Google mobility data from Nigeria covering about 40 million individuals who activated location history on their smartphone google accounts and publicly available information on the lockdown such as dates for initiating and partially easing the lockdown
The cross-sectional study found that government-mandated closures and restrictions in Nigeria owing to COVID-19 was associated with significantly reduced aggregate mobility everywhere except in residential areas and may have averted up to 5.8 million coronavirus infections.
Additionally, they found that community spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria may have been faster in residential areas, transit stations such as motor parks and workplaces including likely venues of social events
Based on result of their findings, the researchers backed the use of restricted mobility as an effective measure for infection control in Nigeria, noting that even during the lockdown and restrictions, noticeable spikes in people’s movement occurred on Saturdays and Sundays which could be attributed to social events such as parties also known as Ówàmbē and religious activities.

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