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COVID-19: Makoko residents in Lagos divided over good hygienic practices


Concerns mount for the welfare of a vulnerable Nigerian community over the spread of the coronavirus.

The Makoko neighbourhood is home to tens of thousands of people living in stilt shanties, built along the Lagos lagoon.

Inhabitants here have been warned by the government and community leaders on good hygienic practices.

However, some are adamant that the waterways are safe. And so they continue to drink the water saying they will not be infected by the virus.

“Concerning this coronavirus disease, we have been told to wash our hands very well and that we should wash our hands very well before eating because of this disease. And that when the children return from school they should have their bath and wash their hands before eating with soap and water. There is no disease in Makoko waterways, we have been living here for a long time, this is where I was born and there are no diseases here”, Makoko resident, Monica Dosugan said.

Albert Ayinde is Makoko community leader. He said despite the scare he’s doing his bit to help neighbours ensure good hygienic practices.

‘‘Look at my compound, my children have been awake since 6am to clean up the surroundings and that is how it is across the floating community. And we have been informing people that after using the washroom to wash their hands thoroughly clean before going to eat because of what is happening now, we are very scared”, Ayinde said.

Nigeria announced its first case of COVID-19 3 weeks ago, since then the total number of cases has shot up to 22.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


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