Is coronavirus more of politics than health issue?




Coronavirus might not be the deadliest virus in the world but at this moment in time, it liquid form has towered over it pairs –Ebola, Avian Flu, Lassa fever, Mers,  Sars and such likes. It came down from Wuhan, China late last year and flaunts itself in our opulent surroundings and today things no longer remain the same. Mosques, churches, temples & synagogues have remain closed, non-essential markets shut, washing of hands have become our second nature,  hugging has become an aberration, shaking of hands a sacrosanct. Today a scientist was quoted to have said at the press conference in U.K. that, The challenges of dealing with an outbreak of this scale are not technocratic but political, and decisions must be made in a fog of uncertainty.’’

Hmm I am looking at the above topic in twofold- The foundation of Covid-19 and the cessation, first I am going to discuss about the cessation of the wildfire called coronavirus. Government believed that resources are limited and burdened by competing demands; these resources must be channeled resourcefully. Today across the globe, decisions of life and death are routinely considered by an institution called Government. This was what prompts the question: Is coronavirus more of a political problem than health?

It is a global phenomenon for leaders to be faced with myriads of  issues such as Insecurity, unemployment rates, drops in consumer spending, tax losses, and strains on a health system—as well as deaths from Covid-19. The public will act and might ask in the long run; did he make the right decision? Did he calm a volatile situation or induce panic? Did he show resilient spirit in terms of the crisis?

Let’s look at a report in The Times of London on the British government’s plans alleging that ministers and officials were “considering the trade-off between allowing an acute outbreak, from which the economy would rebound more quickly, and trying to save more lives by imposing restrictions on mass gatherings and transport.” This is the ugly reality of governance. Covid-19 therefore has opened our eyes to a lot of things, it actually reveal the priorities and values of a society. It has shown us that it is the political structure that would decide the number of testing kits to procure, how much to spend on research, relaxation of travel restrictions, among other decisions.

A woman who lost her son-in-law in Kano State recalled her ordeal. She described her experience as frustrating, confusing and fears for the family her son’s in law left behind. According to her, this calamity would have been averted if health officials and NCDC had not treated the case with kid’s glove.

For some of us in the developing world who knew that the developed nations have robust healthcare system, when we began to see the astronomical number of casualties, we were already peeing in the body, praying devoutly and incessantly before the first case of Covid-19 got to us.  Yes, it is fact that scientists are still studying the behaviour of the virus but we can only hope nature will be overly favorable to curtail the spread in Africa.

As coronavirus plunges through the globe’s undergrowth like an injured snake, it is a wake-up call that lives should be a top priority of government rather than the growth of Gross Domestic Product. The developing nation’s health system must remain proactive rather than reactive. That is the only way we can cope with major disease outbreaks.

Olusanya Anjorin,

Lagos.

[email protected]

+234 8032826650

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