Sunday, April 26, 2020 11:39 pm
By Funmi Peter-Omale, London
As far back as February I raised the alarm #Covid-19 #coronavirus was already in Nigeria. This was based on reliable information from the WHO.
I was practically fried, by sceptics some of whom called me all sorts of names. What I had wished and hope for, was that my colleagues and friends would use their various platforms and media handles to raise public and possibly, government awareness. And prepare the people and nation of the impending chaos a pandemic of this magnitude will wreak on a populous nation like Nigeria. Nigeria is largely an indigenous nation and a third of the population is mainly artisan. It’s foolhardy for one not to have the foresight the sort of crises coronavirus will cause.
In the last few weeks, I have sadly, been vindicated. Unfortunately, we are now reading about “super spreaders” mingling and freely infecting innocent citizens, most of whom are ignorant and maybe uneducated. It is unfortunate that in some places, where the numbers of “sudden” and/or unexplained deaths are being recorded, people are still in denial.
Unfortunately, the federal and state governments are playing catch up. Some state Governors have been outrightly insufferable and irresponsible. Some have been too lax, neither here nor there.
There are not enough test centres, not enough test kits, ventilators and PPE. More importantly, the health care practitioners leave very little to be desired. They’re just not professional and clinical enough, going by real life real time narratives in the news and on social media. Except you’re super rich and can afford the ever expensive private hospitals or clinics (as them government officials are quick to do).
There is no transparency on Covid-19 policy, they are playing politics, Russian roulette with human lives. They are busy putting stigmas and labels where and when unnecessary. Like they do with everything, they’re being fraudulent with the figures, the reliefs and palliative, the almost non existent “donations”, and even the so called lockdown!
For Nigerian authorities, from the federal, to state, local and ward levels; it’s business as usual.
Ditto the miscreants, vagrants and 419ners. All of them business as usual, while the law abiding citizens are caught in the middle, sadly helpless, hungry and barely holding it together.
And the numbers keep climbing…
What I wrote on 28 February
There are now 43 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria according to latest news. Below is an infographic of the spread globally.
Be careful, all of una, wey dey like waka waka upandan, going fish and suya joints, attending parties, and sticking yourselves inside sticky situations like get together crowds of high profile TV and/of film stars and so on.
Only one infected person, can become a “super spreader” infecting many others, who also go on to infect many others, thereby creating the rippling effects of infections!!!
The best means of less risk is avoiding overcrowded places, avoid touching surfaces in public places, washing your hands very well and lastly maintaining a “social distance” as much as you can.
Don’t be fooled that herbs, alcohol or salty water can cure coronavirus, or that face mask is 100 percent helpful in preventing infection! Scientists have now said the virus is so tiny, it can pass through the mesh in the masks!
Your best bet is to walk away from people that are coughing, and avoid contact with them. Plus don’t be shy to cover your mouth and nose if you can’t immediately walk away from that kind of situation…
Please educate your children and family members. It’s a global pandemic, and government officials are covering up and not telling the truths about actual figures.
Don’t wait for what the federal government or ministry of health will do. It is our responsibility, all of us, to protect ourselves and loved ones.”
-Funmi Peter-Omale, journalist, writes from London