The Coronavirus Disease Pandemic and the Basic Reproduction Number (R0) in Nigeria: What Does the Data Reveal?
Keywords:Health, COVID-19, Basic Reproduction Number, Nigeria, JEL Classification: I1, I18
Nigeria continues to record increasing number of persons infected with the coronavirus disease. Within the African region, Nigeria has the second-highest number of infected persons after South Africa, representing 9.95% of the region’s total coronavirus disease cases as at June 1, 2020, despite its strict containment measures. With the fears of a second wave of the coronavirus (the COVID-19 Delta Virus), another lockdown might likely be. But can we establish a correlation between infected persons and those prone to infection (susceptible) as well as the correlation strength in Nigeria? Using both a descriptive and econometric technique, the study analyzed the reality of the transmission rate and the rising figures of the coronavirus infections and found that there exists a weak correlation between the infected and the susceptible and that the basic reproduction number (R0) is less than 1 suggesting that the rate of transmission is low and the virus might not be endemic. The study, therefore, recommends that the containment measures of sanitizing/washing hands, physical distancing, and using face coverings are just enough to stem the tide. However, sustained lockdown measures will be too costly for the economy and a second lockdown will be highly unnecessary.
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