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Coronavirus: Ooni! We Are Doing Well! But Let’s Not Get Too Cocky – Seye Olaniyonu

The news that Nigeria is perhaps one of the most prepared countries against the Coronavirus epidemic is quite emotional.

Indeed, the accolades are coming in left, right and centre; something we are most times not accustomed to. Our collective expectation is that of a society always lagging behind in the basics of governance. It’s like a child who is used to coming last, suddenly being called out as best student. Even his parents would be sceptical.

This sums up the feelings of a number of Nigerian who are still sceptical of the preparedness of the country. However, we must commend the federal government and the Lagos State government for a job well done.

Even developed and advanced countries are struggling to cope with the ravaging virus. In fact, the novel coronavirus has so far infected more than 89,000 people across 58 countries.

As a matter of fact, nations with better healthcare system are struggling; including the United States of America, where President Donald Trump has nominated Vice President Mike Pence; to oversee the effort at beating back the virus. Trump had to make a U-turn from his initial claim that coronavirus is a hoax by the Democrats. But with its impact on Wall Street with Dow Jones taking a plunge; paying attention became the only option.

Coronavirus

The coordination, response and enlightenment campaign by the concerned authorities in Nigeria has been impressive so far. However, it is not yet Uhuru. The authorities have to intensify efforts to prevent spread and not get complacent.

Also, the economic aspect is more critical. Nigeria depends on China on many fronts.

On Coronavirus, no room for complacency

First, the performance of the Chinese economy has a direct correlation with the price of crude oil. Secondly, in terms of trade, Nigeria also depends on China. Lastly, the infrastructural road-map of this administration is also intertwined with China.

Nevertheless, it is not only Nigeria that is feeling the effect of the coronavirus scourge. The uncertainty being generated is causing major stocks around the world to experience some level of contraction. From Down Jones to the Japanese Nikkei and down to the South Korea’s Kospi (KOSPI); the effect of the epidemic has been strangulating.

Coronavirus
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire addresses a press conference

More so, there are speculation that oil price could slump and put more pressure on the Nigerian economy; where the 2020 budget is based on oil benchmark of $57 per barrel.

This is not the time for complacency.

As a matter of fact, the momentum generated must be sustained. With the spread of the virus to over 58 countries; the possibility of banning entrance from some infected countries is almost zero.

Early detection is key. Of course, Nigeria battled Ebola to a standstill in 2014.

Coronavirus

However, coronavirus is proving to be a different ball game entirely. Ebola was practically restricted to the countries of outbreaks. On the other hand, coronavirus has already gone global.

Indeed, we have made giant strides in the initial efforts at reining in the disease here. However, let’s not get too cocky.

But in all sense of pride, Nigeria is doing well, very fantabulous.

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