Kano, Our Weakest Link

By Ushakuma Anenga
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A chain is as strong as the weakest link.
This idiom is used to express that a group can only be as successful as its least successful or powerful person. If one person fails, the whole group fails.

Kano state recorded it's first Covid-19 case just two weeks ago. Prior to this time, there has been concerns over the people of Kano state. Their lifestyle and demographic characteristics wasn't going to help. There are 13.4 million people well-packed together in Kano, most of them illitrates who believe only what their eyes can see. A recent video in Kano showed a crowd shouting "Mallam ya ce, babu corona" meaning " our cleric said, there is no corona". We have seen videos of Kano youths defying safety precautions to drink from their hand wash water to prove that the virus doesn't exist. Some have even organised a "coronavirus" soccer tournament with hundreds of unmasked spectators making mockery of social distancing.

Consequently, the spread in Kano has been rapid. The state was coasting to it's first hundred before reports of new cases ceased. We hear testing has been put on hold as a significant number of workers at the testing centre have tested positive to the virus. As if that is not enough, almost all the new cases in the bordering states are exports from Kano. A particular case of interest is Gombe state which now has over 20 new cases courtesy of Kano. Far away Plateau state also got a taste of the largesse as it recorded it's first case a few days ago, also an export of Kano.

There are reports of scores of elderly people dying from an illness with flu-like, corona-like symptoms in Kano within the last few days. This is as there has been no report of new cases from Kano in the last few days because of lack of testing. As it stands, nobody knows what is happening in Kano! The state is now a petri dish for coronavirus in Nigeria; a paradise of 13.4 million packed people as culture medium, incubating new cases for Nationwide distribution.

The hardwork of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and governments in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Cross River, Abuja and the likes will be easily undone by the nonchalance in Kano. At this rate, there will be no respite even with a national lockdown. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link and in this fight against Covid-19, our weakest link is Kano state and this will surely jeopardize the national effort against this virus if not addressed.

May God help us.