Some western diplomats on Friday warned that with the current and abysmal way the Nigerian Government was handling the Coronavirus outbreak, the number of infections could witness a significant rise in the coming weeks.
Already, Nigeria has 81 confirmed cases and one recorded death of the pandemic.
According to the diplomatic community, infections could rise to more than 10,000 in the coming weeks as there are at least 5,000 persons, who had come in contact with infected persons in Nigeria already.
This category of persons, it was gathered, had gone ahead to mingle with thousands of others in the society without realising that they had the virus.
“This is the real danger. A lot of people who have had contacts with original carriers of the virus don’t even know they have the ailment and have in fact gone ahead to mingle with hundreds and thousands of others in the society, spreading the virus further.
“From information we have in the diplomatic community, there could be an explosion of confirmed infections in the coming weeks. It is going to disrupt a lot of things,” a senior diplomat attached to one European high commission in Nigeria told SaharaReporters on Friday.
Echoing the same sentiment, another diplomat, whose country has provided technical support to African nations battling the spread of the virus, said the situation in Nigeria was dire because the number of untested infections far outweighed those examined by government agencies.
So far, only around 200 persons have been tested for Coronavirus in Nigeria due to the unavailability of testing kits.
Though Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, has donated testing kits and protective items to Nigeria and other African countries to help combat the virus, hundreds of potentially infected persons are yet to be examined in Nigeria, increasing the risk of an epidemic in the West African state.
“We could be having tens of thousands of confirmed cases across Nigeria in a few days from now.
“There are thousands of people with the virus already on the loose in the country and many of this people cannot be traced. They have taken this pandemic into every nook and cranny of this country.
“I think Nigeria must act fast to avert a full-blown war,” the diplomat said on Friday, adding that Western countries will continue to provide technical support to help Africa and the rest of the world conquer the virus.
Already, there have been reported cases of people being asked to self-isolate after reporting to health agencies of having symptoms of the virus.
Without proper monitoring and stringent measures to ensure such persons do not expose others to infection in case they have the virus, thousands of individuals in this category have gone on with their daily activities and opened up the chance of an epidemic in the country.
Unwilling to take chances, some Western countries are already evacuating their citizens from Nigeria and other African countries.
For example, an Air France flight on Thursday moved 260 Europeans from Nigeria to France to prevent them from being infected with the virus.
This came after the Nigerian Government granted a one-week permission to Air France and KLM to evacuate Europeans from the country following the continued spread of the pandemic.
Also on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing CB, said the mission was exploring available options to send staff and their families back to the United Kingdom.
This was occasioned by projections by experts and top diplomats that the Coronavirus pandemic could explode in Nigeria and other African countries in the coming days.
But according to the World Health Organisation, Nigeria and other African countries battling the virus must conduct more tests to portray the true picture of things and avert a major crisis.