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COVID-19 four giveaways to Nigeria (4): A time to play your part

COVID-19 four giveaways to Nigeria (4): A time to play your part

This week saw the world case of the novel coronavirus reach three million with close to a Million recoveries. Considering this stat, one would imagine that the virus is gradually been nipped in the bud, the reality is, its too early to make that call.

A surge in Kano in the past week has brought up the discussion of an expected increase and possible damning effect of this virus on developing Nations. While European Nations are still considering relaxing measures with some focusing on relaxing the curfews they have in place, West-African countries like Ghana and Nigeria have taken the lead in the partial ease of the lockdown.

Ghana like Saudi Arabia, barely 48Hours after it eased her lockdown witnessed a hundred percent increase in its coronavirus cases. Nigeria followed suit with the narrative of saving the economy and allow citizens to work to support themselves during these trying times.

The week of the ease on lockdown has been awash with tales of citizens not complying with the safety measures. Banks were filled to the brim with little to no compliance to the social distancing order. A quite number of persons still roam the street without their nose masks on, and many still do not wash their hands or ensure proper hygiene. If the notes from these gory tales are anything to go by, it foretells nothing but a time bomb that may only be averted with a Nigerian “Miracle in Cell No 7”.

The fact remains that the lockdown helped achieve an almost perfect and effective contract tracing, with Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory seeing a surge in Numbers but also helped in limiting the spread in these two cities. The possible effect of the ease on lockdown will however be seen in the coming weeks, with the possibility of “good news” hinged on citizens complying with the safety measures rolled out by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The government to a certain extent has played its part, even though there is a need to step it up. Lagos State for instance has over time proved to the world that it can control the situation with necessary support from all quarters, however, as citizens, we seem to be letting down our country.

The virus knows no gender nor social status. It escaped the tense security in Aso Villa by visiting the Late Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari. Emirs and wealthy men in the North have lost their lives. A former Group Managing director of NNPC and a host of former government officials have all lost the “perfect living” battle to COVID-19. Even though the Old and the weak are the most vulnerable, the young is also not left out. A case of Atiku’s son who was among the first set of confirmed cases is one we can always refer back to.

The narrative of the virus stays with the rich is one that holds no water and must be thrown out. It is still surprising that many in this clime of ours still do not believe that the virus is real and would only believe when-God forbid- dead bodies flow the streets like in the European countries most affected by the virus. Is this the time to play the blame cards? Certainly No.

Citizens with no reason to be outside must stay at home. Unnecessary mingling with crowds must be avoided with necessary social distancing measures taken seriously. Maintaining proper hygiene via constant washing of hands, taking nutrient-filled meals, and taking proper rest from fatigue should be the next narrative that should be spread aggressively. A reminder that lives lost cannot be regained must be sung into the ears of the disobedient members of the public, while also a “Covid-19 is not a death sentence” message must be spread wide to reduce the hysteria in the minds of the overzealous members of the public.

Covid-19 has indeed come with lots of lessons for every country it has visited. For every continent also, it has told different tales, and unraveled a lot of fallacies and false narratives about the mighty nations, while in all it has also retold the age-long “The rich also cry” tale. Government is continuous, and till thy kingdom comes, the government will continue to exist. But our lives have no spare part. We all need to play our part by staying safe and being responsible citizens.

It is no rocket science, we either get it right now or have ourselves to blame. In essence, it is time everyone comes together to play their parts. This is not for COVID-19 alone, but for the unforeseeable future and a possible outbreak of another pandemic. We must all play our part in defeating this virus and take the lessons to heart for it will surely come in handy in case of future reoccurrence.

ISSA, Abdulganiyu Omotosho is a Public Analyst, Political commentator, and an M.Sc. candidate in one of Nigeria’s foremost Institutions.

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