While it is no longer news that Nigeria recently lost one of her top government official, it is now crystal clear that our political class are not only blindly ignorant and “half-certificated”, I can categorically say they are largely part of the problem. What nonsense!
Simple #SocialDistancingProtocol which is universally upheld to, even in settings where there are no single confirmed case of COVID-19 till date, was violated today at Buhari’s chief of staff burial this morning.
As a Public Health Specialist, I am afriad, disturbed and honestly wondering if we know the gravity of what happened today. I am not a prophet of Doom, but I sincerely doubt, if we will be able to overcome this potential disaster following this height of carelessness and recklessness exhibited by people who are supposed to be leaders leading by example.
My major concern now is, how do we FLATTEN THIS CURVE????
First, we have inadequate, ill- equipped primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities, we habe extremely weakened health care delivery systems across board. We have weakened emergency response, preparedness and diseases surveillance mechanisms in place.
Secondly, we have very demotivated medical and health care workforce; heavily under paid, working with little or no appreciate PPEs etc. This is largely why alot of them have travelled bad will still out of the country. I can tell you that majority of them are currently saving their ‘salary’ or processing their documents to travel overseas for greener pastures.
Thirdly, the government has been battling to effectively enforce the #StayAtHome order. This is what was done in other countries but appropriate measures was put in place to cushion the effect of such decision, but in Nigeria the reverse is the case. We copy-and-paste policies without contextualizing it. Also, one of the reason why #StayAtHome is enforced globally is to conduct mass screening at community levels and intensify contact tracing for those who have come in contact with index cases but that’s not been done because of obvious capacity gaps.
Lastly, we have just seen how leaders wear masks (including those who wore it wrongly) and blindly violate simple social distancing protocol at the burial ceremony of someone who died of COVID-19. In most cases, corpses of those who die of diseases of public health significance are highly infectious that’s why incrimation is recommended.
My question is, why on earth will the burial guidelines for COVID-19 casualties as advised by NCDC be pushed aside because he has a top Government officials and has some level of “immunity”? It’s now crystal clear that our double standards as a Nation is responsible for our present predicament and misfortunes. We play politics with everything, If it was feasible, I am sure his death would have been rigged but that wasn’t possible because you can be in-charge of the BUDGET-FOR-LIGHT but not in-charge of the BREATH-OF-LIFE!
If you still think COVID-19 is a joke, I strongly advice you reconsider your stand or ask Americans how they are fairing right now even with their excellent and world class health care delivery system?
Corona Virus is novel and not a respecter of anyone!
I rest my case!
Osas Aizeyosabor Agho