Do we have the discipline as a people to combat this kind of pandemic?, By Sola Charles

(1) Abba Kyari came back from Germany and Egypt and did not self-isolate for 14 days, spreading the virus across top government circles.

(2) Davido came back from the US and immediately met with Governor Seyi Makinde, where it is believed the governor contracted it.

(3) At UCH Ibadan, the chief medical director attended a board meeting after being exposed to an infected person, thus spreading it among the hospital’s top brass.

(4) Very few Nigerians who have come into contact with infected people have gone into the mandatory 14 day isolation. Contrast this with how Anthony Joshua isolated himself after he had been in contact with Prince Charles.

(5) I gather that about half of the medicines and equipment like facemasks donated to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital were sold off in the private market. I can see this happening with a lot of the equipment Jack Ma donated to Nigeria.

(6) What I find totally unacceptable too is the fact that we are not manufacturing the goods required to combat this pandemic. If we are serious about fighting it, we need to start mass producing facemasks, ventilators, sanitisers, mobile handwashing basins, etc. Nobody anywhere has a surplus to sell to us even if we have the money to pay for it. We are deluded if we think there are enough goods for 200m people stockpiled somewhere in some warehouse.

(7) Everywhere else in the world, factories are being converted into plants that manufacture goods to combat this pandemic. Similar to what you get at war time when car factories are converted into aircraft manufacturing facilities. Nigerians in their typical intellectually lazy fashion, however, think they can go out and import what they need. Do we know that many countries have actually introduced a ban on the export of medical equipment at the moment?

(8) Innoson Motors for instance should be asked to start manufacturing ventilators, with the government ordering a massive consignment of about 500,000 machines upfront. Folorunso Alakija is a fashion designer who manufactures garments. Her factory should be asked to produce 200m facemasks by the government.

(9) Despite the government’s guidelines on social distancing imams and pastors are still holding faith gatherings. People who attend as just as culpable as the clergymen too. Our legendary indiscipline is going to be Nigeria’s greatest undoing here.

(10) I appreciate the little a lot of organisations and individuals are doing with their donations and I like what the Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state governors are doing with regards to opening isolation and testing centres. However, to beat this pandemic, we need a wholistic approach. I fail to see this and dread to think of what will happen if we were hit with the numbers the Italians and Americans have been hit with for instance.

Sola Charles is a journalist and writes from Asaba

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