By Pst Osagie Ize-Iyamu
When the world heard about the scourge of Coronavirus and the way it ravaged the people of China, it initially seemed like a joke until it spread at an alarming rate.
Nigeria was not left out of this scourge as we currently have 12 cases as announced by the Federal Government with none yet in Edo State.
As at 2014 however, there were 71,158 Nigerian legal immigrants in Italy with a large number of undocumented immigrants. Statistics have shown in a study by Eurispes that out of approximately 20,000 women trafficked into Italy for exploitation purposes half were from Nigeria. From that number, 80% are from Edo State. Currently 47,021 people are infected with the Coronavirus in Italy. Edo indigenes residing in Italy are a significant number because it is still a high destination country by our people. While praying to God to protect our people at home and abroad from this virus, we must be proactive. With the alarming incidence rate of disease in Italy (highest in the world currently) and a large number of Edo indigenes who frequently visit home, not to talk about other indigenes in diaspora, we want to ask our Governor, Godwin Obaseki what are his plans for the scourge?
A popular saying is that those who fail to plan have planned to fail! We don’t want Edo to be a time bomb in our nation because Edo State failed to plan under this present government, hence this frantic call for action:
1) What are the plans for individuals?
2) What are the plans for health care personnel?
3) What are the plans for facilities?
Why is there no mass publicity through the radio, local town criers and other means of information for those who are not well educated and living in the villages?
We have been told that simple hand washing reduces the probability of getting the virus so why are there no efforts by government to set up taps all over the city and rural areas?
Why is there no Edo State Centre for Disease Control with a head, and an address with facilities?
Why are there no advertised and well publicized contact numbers for Edo state in suspected cases?
Why are there no test kits to determine if that fever is actually COVID-19?
Why is there no isolation center for suspected cases prior to their transfer to a larger and specialist unit?
Why are there no dedicated ambulances to transport suspected cases with properly kitted and trained staff?
Why do we have a nonchalant Governor who has no clue as to what to do when the world is on lockdown?
This a call to action before it becomes critical. Let it not be said that we were not prepared because the time to act is now! Edo must move forward.