COVID-19: Why Kano Must Tread With Caution

Rabiu Musa

By Rabiu Musa

The novel coronavirus pandemic has since its outbreak in Wuhan, China continued to pose a significant threat to the existence of man on earth.

The world seems not to be safe as the global face remains grim, with tears, heart attack, pain, panic and uncertainty filled homes.

How cruddy man finds himself on the face of a pandemic that seems beyond subdue? This terrible disease spread even among the powerful countries with an outstanding health care system among which is the United States of America with 533,15 reported cases and a death toll of 20,580 as at Sunday.

Nigeria confirmed its index case on the 27th of February since the disease first broke in China. Since then, the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health has been strengthening measures to ensure the outbreak is contained quickly.

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With all the measures taken by states to contain the spread of the virus, yet it has spread to 19 states of the federation including Kano.

The Kano state government in its effort to curtail the spread of the virus on 26 March announced the closure of all routes linking the state to its neighbours with effect from midnight of 27th March and ordered its residents to practice social distancing, all in its effort to protect the people from the deadly disease.

Business in the bustling city of Kano, particularly in the metropolis seems to be the same, with people attending their daily routines while defying the government directives of social distancing.

A public gathering of more than 25 people as earlier banned by the state government were also violated by the people.

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Based on the foregoing, and if history is worth remembering, during the 1918-19 Japan flu  pandemic, the state has a population of about 2,749,727, but recorded 57,978 death. What do we think would happen with Kano’s resurgence population of almost 15 million if we fail to adhere to health directives of social distancing, staying at home and lots of preventive measures?

Now that the state has recorded three case of the virus, there has been panic across the state. Peddling fake news and spewing baseless information or conspiracy theories will not help in this trying time. What is highly expected is unconditional obedience to medics, paramedics to what will help fight this virus.

We must therefore support them in every way we can. Remember, countries with functional health system are struggling to contain the virus but that is now killing them mercilessly, we may equally be in their shoes if we fail to act accordingly and on time.

Government at levels are expected to buckle up and embark upon robust sensitization campaign against the virus. This is a real biological war and like every other war, there will be casualties. Whether we will survive this war or not depends on our ability to take responsibility and be united not divided.

Rabiu Musa writes from Bayero University, Kano

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