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  COVID-19 and our government negligence

By Victor Uzochukwu
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The world has never been so technological sophisticated as it is today than any other period. It is no news that generations after generations have experienced pandemic one after the other, but COVID-19 came so sudden that our apostles of modern medicine are still in search for a vaccine. And it is quite absurd that an unseen enemy as such, have brought nations to its knees, it has for the first time made peace in an already foreseen third world war months back. Coronavirus as we all know has much impelling influence than any other thing in this twenty-first century, this dreadful ravaging disease has made mankind to take caution and rethink the sole essence of their existence. As the minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo aptly said, “God has allowed COVID-19 to afflict the human race to redirect our steps back to Him.” It has mended broken marriages; it has enabled easy and urgent response from continental and global communities; nations’ economy have nose-dived most of them already in recession; world death rate have multiplied; people with other various diseases have been neglected, some sent home; man is convinced that truly he is nothing even with his technological amassment and it has also taunted the god’s of this world.

Over the years, there have been questions concerning the precarious state of our public medical centers and its neglect by past and present administrations that have led to brain drain, and with this pandemic it has shown plainly all the claims (lies) the government has made over the years concerning it. It is a shame to our leaders that many of our doctors and nurses prefer to work for another country than where they were born and breaded. According to the world health organization (WHO), there are 370 doctors for every 10,000 Nigerians which is below par. And according to The Guardian two thousand doctors leave Nigeria yearly, which tells the story of our leaders’ poor concern for health workers as reports state that 12 Nigerian doctors get employed in the UK weekly. As patients of corona virus increase it calls for more health workers which we have limited but if only our leaders had put the needs of the workers than their own useless ambitions, maybe the story would have been that we could make a vaccine. Other nations from time to time have come to terms with the necessity of a well developed medical service for the good their citizens. Most developed countries where our leaders and elites run to have made sure that they do not deter on this, but make sure that illimitable endownment are offered to broad-minded people to make sure that their national medical centers are well-equipped and one of the best in the country. In Nigeria it has been cast on fellows with callowness that has discombulated health with personal aggrandizement. Our politicians are still in shock as they never believed a time would come like this when the doors of other countries would be forced closed against them, that had been the reason for their willy-nilly nature of handling our most primary means of living. But this blind unseen enemy has stolen their greedy joy of running to other countries. I pray we do not suffer the consequences of their actions.

Corona virus has shown that it is not one we would joke with, even in the countries where most of our gluttonous-politicians and elites run to for medical check-up and holiday has been grossly affected by such. In Nigeria our government has proven all the time to take things for granted even with recent increase in cases of corona virus victims. When the government where supposed to shut the borders and quarantine those returning from corona virus prone countries they allowed in and first the Italian. Though research has shown that despite one has contracted COVID-19 it is not a death sentence as UK scientists put the chances of dying from COVID-19 infection at between 0.5 per cent and one per cent, yet must be dealt with by all means necessary. Our government has undisputable put Nigerians at risk by making halt the lockdown recently even though many have advocated for such, yet I don’t buy such idea as the spread of the disease is more in human contact which would not be contained if business returns as usual. There has been clamour by persons pleading with the government to ensure that aid packages are given to citizen to alleviate the effect of Covid-19 outbreak, to make sure that they themselves are in no doubt eating daily-that should be the focus of our government, but it is not, because the government themselves do not have money rather they have been so bent living on the siren call of aid and donor from international banks. Most especially at the early stage of the COVID-19 spread, philanthropist and elites donated billions of naira to the government to help fight the disease, which for me suggest the level they are bent on cooperating with the government on the detriment of the Nigerian life. And as we all know that Nigeria has been placed as the poverty capital of the world due to high level of corruption in civil service, it would have been better they bought equipments to help corona virus patients such as ventilators but this maybe a means to get government favour and joining the oligarchs. This suggests plainly the gross effect of this lock down for a country still recovering from recession. There have been total lockdown in other countries even African countries, the governments are still doing everything in their power to see that their citizens survive these trying times. The purpose of the removal of the lockdown is totally for economic reasons, but life must be considered first in every pursuit. This has also proven again and again in reality the way we see human life, and humanity sake even though many believe it is a pursut against “economic pandemic”. That is why this unfavourable and unbearable situation Nigerians are put into by jejune laws and policies which have countinually killed the collective conscience of our leaders and the led.

In Nigeria there are more than 5,000 corona virus patients, even with test in a grossly affected state like Kano been stopped, with more than 100 deaths and more than 34,000 people have contracted the disease in Africa with a total of more than 1,200 deaths, shows incredibly how fast this disease can spread in just a limited space of time, because by the mid-January this year there was no case recorded in Africa. Nigeria lacks testing kits. And even with such the disease has never been friendly, it doesn’t know rich or poor, and also an unseen foe like such would be more dreadful than seen. Like it has been said corona virus. The most dreadful thing about this disease is not about how the economy would fare later on, but how many lives it must have taken before it accepts defeat. We would one day look back and remember such a pandemic like this if we would put in consideration the most delicate things that keep life at this unprecedented time. I believe that the presidential taskforce with the state police would put in consideration the needful to halt the spread of this deadly disease as business reopens in Lagos, Ogun state and FCT.

Victor okechukwu is from the department of Mass communication university of Nigeria, Nsukka and can be reached at [email protected]

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