COVID-19: Listen If You Have Ears By Sam Otti

Death toll from Coronavirus pandemic continues to rise, yet most Nigerians sink in delusion that the deadly disease doesn’t exist.

On Thursday, June 25, former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, and the Provost, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Prof Okwudilichukwu Udemezue, were prominent personalities  that died from Coronavirus.

Reports across Nigerian states where Coronavirus tests are being conducted show the red sign. As at June 25, 22020 persons in Nigeria have tested positive for the virus.

Surprisingly, figures of infected patients have been climbing, yet most Nigerians throw caution to the wind by breaching all the safety protocols to stop the spread of the disease. This incurable ignorance and disregard for public safety by some Nigerians has heightened the fear of earlier predictions by Western experts that lifeless bodies of COVID-19 victims would litter the streets of Africa.

Although the NCDC officially put the death toll at 549, health officials on the frontline are worried that community transmission of the disease, if unchecked, would yield a harvest of deaths across states, towns and communities.

It is heart-warming that some states of the federation have enforced the compulsory use of facemask. It is pertinent to note that the use of protective masks alone does  not stop the virus.

We are aware that reports of Coronavirus test is very low. I live in the state capital but have never seen NCDC officials  conducting tests for the virus. In other climes, tests are being carried out on people at various locations.

There have been established cases of people that had no contacts with confirmed cases of Coronavirus, yet they tested positive for the virus. How can we detect these infected patients and stop the person to person transmission without increasing the access to COVID-19 tests.

I have often shared this concern with my friends and colleagues. Have you ever seen NCDC officials conducting COVID-19 test in your residential area? In some suspected cases where the NCDC helplines were called, the anticipated quick action is often lacking. In a society governed by preferential class status, many people would die from this virus from utter neglect.

As at 17th June, 2020,  official sources reveal that   2,143,194 persons have tested positive to the virus in the United States, with 117,129 dead. This high infection figure would not have been possible without conducting the test on a larger scale, covering the entire country. We have seen videos of the test being conducted on US citizens even on traffic.

In Nigeria, the restriction of COVID-19 tests to designated centres approved by the NCDC makes it difficult for more people to be tested.

If a former governor that has the finance and medical team for his healthcare could die from the virus, you could imagine the likely effect of this virus on low income individuals lacking the basic logistics for their treatment.

With all the medical specialists at his disposal, the Provost of College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University succumbed to this virus. What will be the fate of those with little medical support? If fire could devour a tortoise with an iron coat, what will happen to a fowl with a feathered gown?

I am particularly worried that some people that had contacts with confirmed COVID-19 patients quickly evade NCDC by switching off their phones and refuse to report to isolation centres. So no one can correctly determine the extent of community transmission of this deadly virus. While some people may be healthy carriers or asymptomatic (as medically used), they end up spreading this virus everywhere they go.

I have often advised people to be watchful and ensure strict compliance to ALL COVID-19 protocols. Never take anything for granted. In this era of pandemic, no one is to be trusted. You could be infected in the most unlikely place.

For those that have ears, the truth is that most states are poorly equipped to combat  this virus. We have heard of generous donation from well meaning individuals but  don’t  believe that the fund has been used for the right purpose. It is true that many tertiary health facilities across states cannot boast of functional  ventilators. They may be provided for television cameras and visiting dignitaries to see, but you will be shocked to discover that they are lacking in hospitals where they are needed.

I am a journalist. I know that many press statements are solely for image laundering. Forget the media propaganda of prepardness to combat the virus. Some people have died because there were NO ventilators available to support them. We watched the agonizing video of a young man who was begging for oxygen till he breathed his last. Late Iwelumo Emmanuel Onyekonwe died on 24th April, 2020 in a medical facility in Lagos. His son said there was no oxygen in the hospital to support him.

The fact is that people are dying more than being  reported. And more people will die if we fail to take responsibility to live.



– By Sam Otti

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

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