Fred Itua, Abuja

More than four months after Nigeria recorded its case of COVID-19, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has displaced Lagos as the leading city with the highest number of cases in the country.

In the last three days, the FCT has consistently maintained the lead. Last Saturday, the nation’s capital recorded 130, while Lagos Lagos recorded less than half of that figure.

It doubled Lagos State’s COVID-19 cases in the latest figures released by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to the daily chart released by the NCDC, there were new infections of 386 cases on Saturday. It was a decline of 16.45 per cent over the figure of 462 cases recorded on Friday.

The seat of power, according to figures made available to the public by the NCDC,  the FCT accounted for 130 cases (33.67 per cent) of the new cases on Saturday, while Lagos dropped to 65 (16.83 per cent).

The FCT had also overtaken Lagos on the NCDC’s daily COVID-19 log, recording 96 cases on July 30 and 93 cases on July 31, while Lagos accounted for 89 and 78 cases on July 30 and July 31, respectively.

Daily Sun learnt that Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), housing highbrow districts of the Territory, account for over 90 per cent of the cases so far, despite its strict adherence of COVID-19 safety tips.

Stakeholders have also attributed the spike to other factors. They argued that the sudden lack of coordination on the part of the FCT Administration and lack of adherence to safety guidelines, were largely responsible for the spike.

They further complained that briefings by the FCT Administration and creation of awareness, had been stopped, despite the rising cases in Abuja.

It was also observed that shop owners are no longer enforcing the wearing of face masks by their customers, even though they provide hand wash buckets and soap in front of their shops.

Some persons who spoke to Daily Sun either waved it aside as a scam, while others said with the lifting of the nationwide trade ban, the virus was gone.

For instance, out of 15 persons observed at a bus stop, only about two persons were seen wearing their face masks. The same was the situation at another bus stop where out of ten people waiting for vehicles to board to town, only about three people were seen to be wearing masks.

Speaking to Abubakar Audu on why he chooses not to wear face mask, he explained that he does not think there is anything like COVID-19, stating that the authorities (government) is just using that to confuse the people, while they keep “embezzling our money.”

Meanwhile, the FCT minister, Muhammad Bello, has called on residents not to be complacent about COVID-19, as it still remains a highly infectious and deadly disease.

He added that the protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and regular hand washing have been put in place to safeguard against contracting the virus.

Non-adherence to these basic protocols, the minister warned, only puts more people at risk, increases the pressure on the economy and prolongs return to normal life

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