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Corona Virus Isolation Centres and Churches  as Death Traps: Reviewing Enugu State and Lagos Catholic Archdiocese

By Obinna Akukwe
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Corona Virus isolation centres in Nigeria are death traps. Those who surrender themselves there may end up with Corona virus and colonial virus all put together. That was the unfortunate incidence in Enugu when a 70 year old woman came back from the UK after five months, had mild fever, went to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital UNTH , Enugu, was rejected.

The woman was taken to Park Lane Hospital, was rejected and transferred to Colliery Centre Annex of the Hospital. I visited Colliery Hospital area in January, while checking on a Pastor living around there that was challenged. The place I saw in January was overgrown with weeds, unkept, filled with debris, yet few persons,especially women were strolling into the facility and I asked whether they want to lease out the facility. Colliery Hospital was purchased by former governor Chime in 2012 and was designated an isolation centre for infectious disease by Governor Ugwuanyi in 2018.

To hear that a woman who spent five cosy months in UK was kept there for three days in the name of Corona virus isolation is appalling. By the time the test result came out negative, the woman had died, due to the diseases she contacted in the place.

The situation in other states is not different. Rivers State, with all the oil money, is yet to have an isolation center. The governor just designated two hospitals to prepare for corona virus. Gombe State has a four bed center. Many other states have none, while others have dilapidated facilities with no clean environment, toilets and health workers.

Even the clergy, the agents and oracles of God, had abandoned God due to Corona Virus and now see the sacraments and ordinances as death traps. Last week the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Dr Adewale Martins, issued another decree insisting that priests who defied his orders by giving communion by mouth are guilty of rebellion.

His earlier order two weeks ago for Catholic faithful to receive communion by hand until the corona virus scare was over was flouted by both priests and parishioners in Lagos , who believe that the mystery of ‘Transubstantiation’ whereby Jesus was present in the Holy Communion was enough to stop Corona Virus. Archbishop Adewale had also stopped Stations of the Cross and handshake of peace in the churches across Lagos and parishioners are complaining.

I advise Nigerians to hold on to God because even the agents and oracles of God are afraid of the disease and are stopping receiving of communion by mouth, . Pentecostals in Lagos have started cancelling services in purported responses to government order,because the pastors have no faith that the God whom they preach can cure corona virus. Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, Deeper Life Bible Church and Daystar Christian Centers have cancelled large church services

In view of all these unpreparedness by government and lack of faith by church leaders, I advise Nigerians to put their faith in God. The Bible says in Habakuk 2:4 that 'Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith'

The case of death trap called Enugu Isolation Centre and lack of faith in the sacramental by the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos is enough for Nigerians to take health precautions and put their faith in God.

(Obinna Akukwe wrote via [email protected], facebook.com/obinnaakukwe, @obinnaakukwe)