By Doyin okupe
There are many conspirator theories on the issue of Covid 19. Many do make a lot of sense.
I will, for the purpose of this discussion just highlight a few obvious facts.
- China had about 81,518 cases. 76,052 cases or 93% have been treated and discharged in 3months or so.
Close to 80% of those cases were located in Wuhan, the largest city in the Hubei Pronvince. From here the virus has spread to some 200 countries around the globe, many 10,000km and more away from Wuhan.
Yet Shanghai, 629km from Wuhan only had 337cases and 327 or 97% were discharged. Also Beijing the seat of power and capital of china had only 416 cases and 392 or 94% discharged.
By april 8 all bans and restrictions on movements in China will be removed! Yet in less than 1month or thereabouts America has recorded more than 160,000 cases and over 3000 deaths. This is why people are saying ” there is something wrong..” and I quite agree. What is wrong is what I dont know and I also believe will not matter if I know. It must have to do with sublime level of international politics and diplomacy. Truly I dont think this should be our concern in Nigeria or even africa for now. Let the USA, BRITAIN, GERMANY, FRANCE AND ITALY & CO worry about these things. Africa’s total contribution to global economy is about 2.75%!!! Far too low for us in these perilous times to worry about conspiratorial international politics or warfare.
Of the 3000 deaths in the USA, members of their immediate families will not suffer the consequence of their demise because they have a system which can take care of such situations. But 1000 similar deaths in Nigeria or elsewhere in africa moves the poverty index further up and significantly too!!
Therefore I see from all these data not that “something is wrong” but rather that china has done something right which will be useful in assisting us in stopping this virus in its tracks in Nigeria, if we can find it or study it, in order to create our own template.
Our situation must not come near what has happened in Italy, Spain or the US.
From my own perspectives I think china did 3 things.
- They deployed humongous financial resources.
- Locked down Wuhan effectively even if they employed quasi draconian policies in enforcement. Discipline by all means was the watch word.
3.Deployed treatment regime (disclosed or not) which worked.
WE CAN DO THE SAME.
1.RESOURCES: Giving N10B to Lagos as subvention is absolutely nothing and cannot achieve anything. A team must sit in Abuja and quickly work out what is required and how to get it immediately. The support of the biz group is highly commendable and encouraging. But its scratching the surface. In my opinion this whole project will cost Nigeria, the govt nothing less than $2B.
Most of this money will be used to directly finance families nearly on a house to house basis for 30 days in the affected states and especially Lagos which harbours some 60% of the cases and which represents about 50% of the Nigerian economy.
Next will be in acquisition of equipment and kits especially Ventilators. I am told we have about 200 units whereas we need between 3000 to 4000 as standby.
During the lockdowns Govt must distribute rapid test kits to households to conduct tests themselves and in some cases can be assisted by medical teams. This way those who manifest as they must during the lockdown periods can be picked up and treated.
Affected states must set up home visit teams of at least 3 members including a doctor. Lagos alone will need 150 to 200 such teams.
- States must device ways and means of reaching out to house holds for food or financial supports.
- Adopt immediately the new well publicised treatment protocol of chloroquine, azithromycin and zinc.
I believe in my heart that we can repeat the chinese miracle. It will cost huge sum of money, serious discipline, adequate to welfare and wellbeing of the citizens and dedicated but adequately protected professionals and health workers.
Okupe is a former special adviser to ex president of Nigeria