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Conferences Paper On Spatio-Temporal Growth Patterns Of Corona Virus And The Impact On Efficient Road Transportation Operations In Ogun State

Abstract

This study was on Spatio-temporal growth patterns of corona virus and the impact on efficient road transportation operations in Ogun state. As public transport brings people into close contact in a confined space, increasing their risk of exposure to the virus (Yezli and Khan, 2020), the Ogun State government-issued public transport guidelines to operators and passengers to curb the spread of the coronavirus in buses, cabs, motor parks and garages in March 2020. The directive expects passenger’s spacing to be fully observed, such as 2 m of a minimum distance between passengers. Still, a concern arises in how feasible it is to achieve this minimum distance in a bus or on a tricycle, where these modes of transportation are far shorter than 2 m. the purpose of the study was to assessed the following to assess the relationship between road transport and spread of COVID19, to assess the minimum distance of 2m in buses help protect spread of COVID19 in Ogun state and to ascertain whether taxi drivers, like tricycle and motorcycles riders, have an increased risk of acquiring the virus, given their close contact with their customers.

Introduction

The global impact of the 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been well documented. This outbreak was deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March 2020. To date, there have been cases confirmed in at least 203 countries, areas or territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented measures to be taken by many countries, such as travel restrictions and restrictions on social gatherings (De Vos, 2020). Nigeria is a key regional actor in the African continent with over 200 million people, and it confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in Ogun state was on 9 March 2020. First, Ogun State is the country’s commercial hub, as it had a surge in population and rapid urbanisation. With an estimated 3,751,140 million people across 16,981 km²,. Second, the state operates in an emerging economy, which is facing institutional adversity and underlying and persistent economic challenges as it copes with the pandemic. Third, as remote work is being trialled globally, more people are working from home. This reduces their travel needs; the inadequate power supply, internet connections and the large informal economy in Nigeria has often meant that people must travel daily to work. Fourth, the road is the most prevalent and extensively used form of transportation (Nwafor and Onya, 2019) in the Abeokuta metropolis. However, the inadequate fleets of public transport vehicles and dilapidated road networks present significant concerns for the state. Finally, as the growing populations struggle with the poor infrastructure, there is an increasing number of cars on Ogun’ roads, which causes traffic congestion and gridlock. Commuters lose up to 75% of their weekly working hours because of traffic congestion (Obi, 2018)

With regards to a pandemic, Ogun State has always been vulnerable medically. Analogous to the coronavirus disease, the Ebola epidemic of 2014 started and spread in the country through Ogun State. As it is now, the dense population of Ogun, its overstrained infrastructure, as well as being the major regional transit hub for air and, land (Ebenso and Otu, 2020) has created a seamless opportunity for the spread of the coronavirus. Of all the 36 states in Nigeria, Lagos State has had the highest number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, attributable COVID-19 deaths and recoveries.

The unprecedented impacts and disruptions as a result of coronavirus known popularly as COVID-19 is affecting all economies and markets globally. The response by governments and organisations all over the world has suddenly impacted our way of life and that of the global transportation systems. The speed with which these impacts has hit the world is unprecedented, especially because the different modes of transport (airlines, railways, maritime, pipelines, private and public transport systems) have all experienced drastic fall of customers and patronage. This has resulted negatively in shutting down of operations and in many cases reduction in service delivery levels which has thrown nations and the entire transport systems into the worst case ever experienced by mankind, worse than the similar case of 1918 influenza pandemic caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.

Transportation sector contribution to Nigeria’s GDP increased to $720.241 million in the third quarter of 2019 from $642.927 million in the second quarter of 2019 and contributed 2.49 percent to nominal GDP in Q1 2019, an increase from 1.85 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, higher than 2.05 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The importance of the sector as the gateway to the economy of nations cannot be over emphasised, especially because transportation is an essential service needed all over the world to move passengers, goods and services with safety and security as its fundamental objective in delivering quality service and also a top priority for the government (the regulators) to ensure everyone working in the sector and using it in Nigeria are safe and secure.

Coronavirus pandemic has opened a huge gap in the sector and it needs to be closed urgently because of Nigeria’s poor transportation system which is not well regulated and monitored. The Use of motor bikes, tricycle, poor transport infrastructures and lack of modern transport technological system in driving the sector, lack of modern transport policies, very little or no attention by the government to the sector, lack of professionalism in the sector are some of the areas with gaps that needs to be closed for maximum efficiency, repositioning and growth of the sector.

The existing gaps in our nation’s transportation systems before the coronavirus pandemic has further widened because of the pandemic and so our government needs to begin strategizing towards taking urgent steps to close the wide gap created, because of the need of steady supply of food, medical supplies, emergency goods with minimal delays or restrictions needed and other essential services needed  to maintain a balance in our nations and Ogun state and supply chain networks for the sustenance of life and our economy.

Statement of the problem

As public transport brings people into close contact in a confined space, increasing their risk of exposure to the virus (Yezli and Khan, 2020), the Ogun State government-issued public transport guidelines to operators and passengers to curb the spread of the coronavirus in buses, cabs, motor parks and garages in March 2020. The directive expects passenger’s spacing to be fully observed, such as 2 m of a minimum distance between passengers. Still, a concern arises in how feasible it is to achieve this minimum distance in a bus or on a tricycle, where these modes of transportation are far shorter than 2 m. Taxi drivers, like tricycle and motorcycles riders, have an increased risk of acquiring the virus, given their close contact with their customers (Yezli and Khan, 2020). Moreover, cash payment which is predominant on Lagos transport puts drivers and essential workers at a higher risk of spreading the virus. While social distancing is essential, it will be impractical to practice social distancing in Ogun transport mode.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to:

  1. To assess the relationship between road transport and spread of COVID19
  2. To assess the minimum distance of 2m in buses help protect spread of COVID19 in Ogun state
  3. To ascertain whether taxi drivers, like tricycle and motorcycles riders, have an increased risk of acquiring the virus, given their close contact with their customers

Related literature

Coronavirus

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available

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