When the novel coronavirus started in China, I was fervently praying that it should be limited to the developed world who have the means to fight the disease. Upon how technologically advanced China is, the virus was so fast in spreading, even when it took the Chinese just days to build a 1,000 bed capacity hospital. Even now that the disease is said to be under control there, they are still recording deaths amidst the decontamination of their cities.
Now, imagine Nigeria where we do not have a purposeful leadership, and where we do not have good health institutions. The only reason why Ebola was contained in Nigeria was because there was a purposeful leadership and they had the will to prove the world wrong about Nigeria, and they sure did.
I find it disturbing that the government is just about searching for the contacts of the Italian man who was diagnosed with the sickness. There have been rumors that the man was picked from the airport, and he had a brief stint at Radisson Blue hotels, visited his brother in Lekki, before going to Ogun and so on.
The government’s actions so far has shown that the ministers going to the airport late last week to see how the virus would be prevented from entering the country and the hundreds of millions of naira released by the government was just a mere lip service.
A serious and proactive government would have put every necessary measure in place to checkmate the virus from entering the country.
It has been in the news how the virus is ravaging Italy, as the country is second to China in terms of death caused by the disease. If flights from Italy were not screened at all, that means Nigeria was never prepared.
Many countries of the world barred flights to and from China, Iran, and others as preventive measure, but Nigeria didn’t as much try to do anything. Saudi Arabia had to stop issuance of Visa to pilgrims who were to come for lesser hajj as a preventive measure.
My fear is that Lagos is too compacted, and once the virus enters, virtually everybody will have it and the death toll in a day will be in hundreds. From the sweaty public buses where people are parked like sardines, to the “face me I face you” houses with overwhelming population, and to the almost non existent health institutions there, curbing this virus will be very hard.
Can there ever be a lockdown of Lagos city because of this Coronavirus?
The danger is unprecedented!
By Odumodu Gbulagu
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK