ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

COVID-19 and the future of transportation [ICT Clinic]

The novel COVID-19 has, no doubt, changed the way we did a lot of things before it reared its ugly head on the world scene. The virus has, so far, defied any known specific cure, or vaccine. As a result of its human to human mode of transmission, it has compelled us to start practicing social distancing as one of the measures to prevent us from contracting the virus.

Many countries were on lockdown, with their citizens compelled to stay indoors for months already.

In view of the growing cases of infected people in the country, the Federal government of Nigeria, aside from directing the populace to practice social distancing, interstate travel was also banned until further notice. The government, however, released a statement that the transportation of some essential goods, such as edible food products, petroleum products, will still be allowed to move across state borders.

After what seems to be many weeks of lockdown, however, many governments have realised that, people need to be active again, by starting to produce and offer goods and services, if we must continue to live, as a people. It seems that it would take a long while, before a vaccine or cure will be found and the human race is, presently, set for a long haul, as we strive to exist, side by side, with the virus.

As at the time of writing this piece, global infection of COVID-19, stands at 8,393,084, with 4,408,937 recoveries made and a global death figure of 450,452 deaths resulting from health complications related to the virus.

The figures for the same period in Nigeria, according to daily updates by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, showed that since the first Nigerian COVID-19 case was recorded in Lagos on February 27, 2020, a total number of 17,735 cases, have so far been recorded with 5,967 recoveries made and 469 deaths, linked to the virus.

This is after only a total number of 103,799 samples have been tested in Nigeria out of a population of about 200 million. More samples still need to be tested to enable us to know the exact impact of the virus on the Nigerian population.

Removal of the lockdown protocol meant that people could start moving from place to place to carry out their business or pleasure, as the case may be. Movement requires one means of transportation or the other, hence, the government of Lagos State gave conditions on how the commercial buses and taxies should conduct their businesses. One of the conditions is not to carry more than 60 per cent of the capacity of their buses and taxies. This is all, in a bid to crystal the spread of the virus.

Operating at 60 per cent capacity, for these transport operators is, however, causing a lot of problems for the commuters, as they are currently bearing the brunt of the increase in transport fare in many routes by the transporters. This reduction in capacity and increase in — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.

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