More and more governments around the world are imposing lock downs and restricting travel after the World Health Organization declared corona virus a pandemic. That means it is spreading from person to person at a very high rate in multiple countries. However, Africa seems to look a lot cleaner as there is currently just over a hundred cases confirmed in the continent in 12 countries it’s a small number compared to Europe where Italy alone has 12,000 cases.
The global pandemic is not widespread in Africa at least for now, there are fears that the corona virus outbreak on the continent could overwhelm the already fragile health care systems. In Rwanda campaigns promoting basic hygiene like many other African countries it’s free of the virus but still bracing for impact. Up until now those infected with the virus have come from abroad so the most stringent checks are being carried out at ports of entry but that’s not been enough.
The first corona virus case south of the Sahara was in Nigeria, an Italian citizen who flew in from Milan. He has since infected a second person and authorities fear that such secondary cases could pose the biggest threat particularly if they spread undetected.
However, a visit to Lagos shows that people don’t seem to be worried about the outbreak. People seems to be engrossed with buying and selling where there is a lot of money exchange and physical contact. Nothing seems to have changed in spite of the two confirmed cases of corona virus.
One of the reasons why most Nigerians are not panicking about the corona virus Pandemic is because Nigeria is no stranger to disease outbreaks. For example in 2014, the Ebola virus arrived in Lagos a city of 20 million people, it could have been an epidemic but that virus was successfully contained.
The Nigerian health authorities have however been receiving praises from around the world including the World Health Organization for their efforts in stopping the spread of corona virus. Passengers coming into the country have to undergo health screenings at different ports of entry, they must pass on all their information to authorities.
Even though most Nigerians are confident that the corona virus will not affect them, experts warns that if the virus eventually spreads there simply aren’t enough basic facilities and devices like respiratory machines to care for all patients.
So why haven’t we seen as many corona virus cases in Africa?
Experts have attributed the slow pace of the virus in Africa to environmental condition, given the fact that Europe now is in the winter period. The environmental temperature may be accounting for a shorter of the pathogen being in circulation.