CoronavirusTravelFG Might Ban Train Service Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

Nigeria, still reeling with the Covid-19 economic recession which is projected to push about 5 million more Nigerians into poverty, has another lockdown in view with the surge in the country.

On Monday, the federal government threatened to suspend train service over the failure of some passengers to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

The government had earlier suspended the resumption date for all schools, citing the need to review the situation amidst the rising cases of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, said the Abuja-Kaduna service alone conveys about 4,000 people daily, hence the high risk of spreading the disease.

The minister said citizens must live safely with the deadly virus, adding that face masks must be worn by everyone on board.

“If the Lagos-Ibadan passengers flout the COVID protocols, we will stop the train [services]. Don’t forget that we convey about 4,000 passengers in a day on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line.

“Now, imagine that about 20 persons have coronavirus. They can transmit the same to the entire 4,000 passengers. If we take 2,000 to Abuja and 2,000 to Kaduna, the rate of transmission will be very high. We can’t continue that way.

“The same is applicable to Lagos. For us, we insist that everybody must obey the protocols. Wear your mask throughout the journey till you step down.

“As far as we are concerned, we need to learn how to live with COVID-19. I really want to congratulate those that achieve this feat,” he said.

COVID-19 Surges

On Monday, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that the amount of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) tests grew by 1,244 in Nigeria, reaching 101,331 cases in total. This makes Nigeria the eighth-highest ranked African country concerning registered cases.

Premium Times estimate showed that, at least one out of every six persons (16 per cent) tested for COVID-19 in Nigeria within the last two weeks.

This statistic is significantly higher than the average of one in ten persons since Nigeria recorded its first case of the virus in February last year.

Since the pandemic broke out in February last year, over a million (1,025,560) samples were collected for testing.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the increase is the result of factors which include increased local and international travels, business and religious activities with little compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Currently, Nigeria has recorded a total of 1,361 casualties and 80 thousand recoveries in the country.

New Restrictions

In late December, the Federal Government imposed new restrictions to contain the second wave of the virus in various parts of the country.

The new restrictions closed all bars, nightclubs, pubs, and event centres, as well as recreational venues while directing all civil servants from Grade Level 12 and below to stay at home for the next five weeks.

Also, all informal and formal festivity events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events, was restricted to not more than 50 people.

According to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, “a harder than necessary hit” during the first wave of COVID-19 was that the government failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians to shut down the nation’s borders as soon as the virus became a pandemic.


Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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