from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – RESEARCHERS are outraged as more than a quarter of Nigeria’s population still believe they are immune to the coronavirus (COVID-19) while a minority consider the disease to be fake and a ploy by government to loot state coffers.
The misconceptions come despite Africa’s most populous country of 200 million confirming 362 cases and 11 deaths since its first case on February 25.
“It is outrageous to note that the poll revealed that 28 percent of adult Nigerians maintained that they are immune to the virus,” NOIPolls, which conducted the latest survey stated.
The polling agency, which interviewed 1 000 people, disclosed that 42 percent of those claiming immunity held that belief mainly because they believe in God.
Understandably, 32 percent believed they were immune because they observed proper hygiene.
NOIPolls expressed shock that 6 percent of Nigerians surveyed consider the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria to be fake.
“During the survey, respondents in this category disclosed that they believe the outbreak is real in other countries but not in Nigeria,” NOIPolls stated.
The agency disclosed some mentioned that they did not believe the virus was real because they had not encountered anybody infected by the virus in their states.
“Others specified that it is propaganda and a means for government to embezzle funds.”
Nonetheless, 99 percent expressed knowledge of the COVID-19. Trend analysis shows a 15 percent increase in awareness.
Respondents who claimed to be unaware live in villages.
Some 77 percent of Nigerians support the decision of the government to impose lockdowns.
The poll is the latest since an earlier one by NOIPolls in March.
Then, 26 percent claimed immunity to COVID-19.
– CAJ News