Bamidele Ajayi, consultant, physician and infectious disease specialist working at the Ogun Isolation Centre.
''People have been coming up with different theories as to why the COVID-19 fatality rate in Nigeria is far less than in the West. Some attribute it to the fact that people who have had the micro tuberculosis vaccine have a bit of protection, as America and some European countries don't give the tuberculosis vaccine. Other people are saying it's due to the level of hygiene, that people living in our environment have been exposed to so many things, so this one is not new. If larger percentages of infected people are asymptomatic, then it means the disease is not lethal as expected. This means that it is possible that the majority of the population has the disease and is still going about their daily activities. We just need to work out the modalities that we can adopt to best suit our locality. People have malaria and they move about, it is not until it gets serious before they start treatment. Most people are carriers of the typhoid bacteria, but it is not until it becomes serious that they'll seek help. So this means that COVID-19 is giving us a pattern that is similar to one of those diseases we have been contending with for years now. The best thing for government to do is to ensure that every hospital has the personnel to diagnose COVID-19 and to establish a referral system, so that we can direct patients to different hospitals based on their needs. This process would empower hospitals and ensure that hospital capacity is developed in terms of infrastructure, equipment and manpower to handle cases of emergency. This is the first time in the history of the country that everyone is talking about health. Well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies are donating into the health sector, and this has really helped many states to get items that they previously never had. So the coronavirus is a blessing in disguise for the health sector of most states.''