EDITORIAL: Coronavirus makes landfall on the continent, how ready are we?

The Coronavirus danger is becoming so serious that the whole world could soon put itself under lockdown. China, the origin of the virus proved to the world that it had the resources to confront the threat head-on; it built hospitals within days and pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into its economy to destabilize it.

Very soon it became a pariah state and many neighbouring and distant states banned Chinese nationals from entering their territories. Now things have taken a turn for the worst; the whole world has more infections than China and few of them have its resources and resilience to manage the crisis.

So the world has gone into panic mode, the Swiss government has banned the gathering of more than 1n000 people, the Tokyo Olympics are walking a thin line, many entertainments shows have been cancelled and worse of all, the virus has set its foot on the African continent. But how prepared are we?

A few establishments have put hand sanitizers at the disposal of their clients but that’s about it. Banknotes and coins and ATMs are some of the commonest conduits of the infections, so it should be the right time to hammer home the importance of going cashless.

However, public transport, mass gatherings remain the riskiest places that will need special attention. Do transport companies have the resources to fumigate their buses after every trip? Already there is a shortage of face masks and China was the main source, have we thought of alternatives? Those are the kinds of questions the ministry in charge of disaster preparedness should be sitting with answers at the ready

 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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