The recent outbreak of coronavirus on December 1, 2019 in Wuhan, China, has thrown the world into pandemonium due to it strain nature of infecting people and spreading like weird somber across the globe. Before the world could uncover its debilitating effects in China, it has infected over 90, 000 in a swap with the record of 2, 900 deaths. And within a twinkle of an eye, the virus had hit the Chinese nationality with brazing bewilderment to struggle in containing the novel virus whose source is yet unearth. The only option presently known for curbing the spread is to quarantine the affected people and restrict people’s movement.
It should be noted that at the hasty outbreak of the viral disease in January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its preliminary findings concluded that the COVID-19 outbreak in China was a Public Health Emergency not epidemic. But weeks after this disclosure, the N-COV viral disease had gone weird rampaging over 227 countries outside China. Not leaving South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and even United States, to mention just a few, and stealthily cracking the foundation of global economic.
Though WHO had initially underrated the rushing spread of COVID-19 but when it had constant reports of the virus blazing burs hitting Asia, Middle East, America, Europe and even Africa, the organization realized that the world was ignorantly dealing with a far dangerous virus they have ever thought and announced it as a global pandemic, posing a serious threat to human existence in 21st Century. At this juncture WHO is calling for public adherence to medical precaution and collective effort to contain the spread?
As of March 2020, the global death toll according to Aljazeera news reports had hit over 4,500 while 105,000 people have been infected in more than 90 countries while other countries worst hit outside China recording up to 5,858 cases alone. Medical experts had disclosed that the incubation period for COVID-19 in individuals is within 14 days of contacting the virus.
Nigeria is the second country in Africa after Egypt that had a brief glimpse of COVID-19 outbreak on February 25, 2020 through an Italian Engineer who came from Milan and had stopover in Lagos before resuming at a cement factory in Ogun state. He fell sick and tested positive to novel Coronavirus. But the proactive measures put in place by the trio of Federal, Lagos and Ogun State Governments to stem the spread of the virus was estimable. The Italian was quarantined and all those who had contact with him including 156 fellow airlines passengers were traced for adequate medical screening.
In the same vein, the Ogun state sovernment has also taken some stringent measures considering its direct involvement in the Italian COVID-19 destination drama by suspending the 2020 Africa Drum Festival. The release stated that festival will attract participants from all over the world and as a responsive and responsible government it is expedient that public interest should override any selfish political aggrandizement. And not toying with rampaging COVID-19 pandemic that has shredded even the most developed and technologically advanced countries of Europe, Asia and America.
The governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, also put in place joint public health campaign on COVID-19 with the support of WHO, NCDC, Ministry of Health among other health partners that sensitized the State Civil Servants at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. Postal and hand bills were also distributed to enlighten the people on precautionary measures to take at containing the virus, while jingles were also produced on COVID-19 to enlighten the general public on radio and television stations.
Experts say grave global economic crisis is pending with every economic measures being embarked upon by most countries at containing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. For example, over 260 countries have taken punitive measures ranging from border closure, placing travel ban on countries most hit by the COVID-19 resulting to collateral global travel ban, partial or complete lockdown of cities, towns, provinces, schools, tourist and religious sites, as well as suspension or cancellation of all sporting activities such as; football matches, basketball, boxing bouts among others. Experts say global economic may worsen if there is no urgent check to control the placement of travel bans by countries. It was projected that global airlines revenue will fall by $4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020 as most of these airlines operators will cancel flights.
Reports indicated that China, the second economy in the world after United States, is temporarily shut down due to coronavirus. Most companies have been locked down and the country has drastically reduced importation of petroleum and as one of the biggest oil importers is currently affecting global oil price. International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed that this singular act of China dropping in oil importation would not only affect OPEC structural plan in 2020 but lead to drop in oil demand and supply which may spark off fresh global oil crisis. Be that as it may, even if globalization has positioned China at the heart of complex industrial supplies chains, Nigeria should wake up from depending only on oil and quickly put place structural measures to diversify its economy, although most companies worldwide depend on China for materials.
Considering the global confusion and tension in handling cases of COVID-19, it has evidently shown that we need divine help to contain a virus that has defiled all human techno-medical knowhow. At this juncture, the world requires complete spiritual intervention from God in prayer to show mercy and save the world from being ravaged by a weird virus.
Ositelu writes from the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Abeokuta, Ogun state, via: [email protected] or 08035495562