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IJHSE Abstract

Responding to Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria: The policy dilemma of a vulnerable Nation - A Review

*Ukertor Gabriel Moti, and **Jeremiah Tersur Vambe

Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria.

*Authorís Contact Details: E-mail Addresses ✉: gabriel.ukertor@uniabuja.edu.ng, ukertor@yahoo.com;
Phone no ☎: +(234)8033114425

**Authorís Contact Details: E-mail Addresses ✉: Jeremiah.vambe@uniabuja.edu.ng; tervambe@yahoo.com

Accepted May 22, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic, though mainly a major global public health concern, has significant socioeconomic implications of great consequences to economies and the well-being of the population, just as it is an assessor of the institutional structures and governance framework of nations. Whereas some countries were proactive with comprehensive mitigation, containment and management policies in response to the pandemic, some were in denial and procrastinated. Notwithstanding the initial reaction of countries, the policy actions appear generic in compliance with standard World Health Organization (WHO) protocols: lockdowns, testing and contact tracing, isolation and social distancing. The choices are not easy when it comes to adapting them to country specific contexts. Countries exhibited varying stages of institutional capacity, resilience, inclusiveness and vulnerabilities. Nigeria, Africaís largest country by population and economy is adjudged as a medium, with varied capacity and high vulnerability entity. This paper is a review of the policy responses and the observed dilemma between science and economic pragmatism. Whereas science advocates flattening the curve which in some cases mean longer lockdowns, lockdown fatigue and restlessness of the vulnerable population occasioned by economic hardship compelled the government to ease lockdown with possible consequence of increase in infections. It may not be plausible to deal with the dilemma during the period of the pandemic, however, we recommended this offers an opportunity for the country to strengthen its health care system, educational institutions and pro-poor policies on post-covid-19.

Key words: Dilemma, Economy, Health, Pandemic, Vulnerable.

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