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COVID-19: Lagosians Shun Facemasks

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Facemasks

Ganiyat Ganiyu

Lagosians have generally shunned the use of facemasks as advised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, being a measure to control the further spread of the coronavirus disease.

While the coronavirus disease is still seriously ravaging some countries of the world and has forced some of them to go into a  second lockdown, Nigeria has maintained between 100 – 300 cases of new infections on a daily basis in the past few months.

As of Sunday night, the country’s COVID-19 cases stand at 63,383 as the NCDC recorded 155 cases across the nation.

Observations by  An24.net show that majority of Lagosians now go about their daily activities without the use of face masks, except when they need to enter the banking hall, malls and where the guidelines are still being enforced.

Some facemasks sellers in the Ogba Area of the state lamented when AN24.net contacted them. According to them, patronage has reduced drastically because the government stopped enforcing the use of facemasks.

A facemask seller identified as Mrs Iyabo said, “The patronage has dropped compared to what we used to sell initially. People hardly patronise us. Before we went on lockdown, I used to sell at least two packs (50 pieces each) of surgical masks daily but now I barely sell 30 pieces in a day.”

Another seller whose stall is close to one of the new generation banks in Ogba said, “People still buy face masks from me because they cannot enter the bank without wearing it. However, sales has reduced because most people now use the clothed one as an alternative.”

Mrs Johnson, another face masks seller said, “Sales has been dull lately because most people do not use the mask again. When the coronavirus started in Nigeria, we used to hear of how the police will arrest people without wearing it but I guess they stopped using it because the police are no longer enforcing it on us.”

AN24 spoke with a few people to find out why they stopped wearing facemasks as against the directives by the Government.

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One of them, Waheed said, “I stopped wearing the face masks because others are no longer wearing it. Moreover, it seems coronavirus disease has been eradicated in Nigeria.”

Another resident who refused to give his name lamented on how inconvenient the mask could be. He said, “Honestly, I stopped wearing facemask because of the inconveniences. The weather is too hot and the mask doesn’t make it any better. I try as much as possible to avoid close contact with people and I wear it only when mandatory.”

Meanwhile, a Lagos based medical doctor, Dr. Meshach Aderogba, while speaking with our correspondent warned of the second wave of the virus as residents failed to adhere to safety measures to contain the virus.

He said, “It’s quite unfortunate that we are experiencing the second wave of the virus in Nigeria without people realising it. We had gone almost a month with 56-70 cases in a day but now we are back to 200-300 new infections daily. When you look around, it’s only the elites that use the face mask, most people have stopped using it.

“While we have been fortunate in Nigeria not to experience cases of the virus as seen in other countries, our people need to do better. The government also has  a role to play, I believe they should do more of communications targeted at the grassroots.”

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