EDITORIAL: COVID-19 puts the whole world on a war footing

The Coronavirus outbreak has made the world go head-over-heels. Who would have imagined that a tobacco manufacturer, enemy No. 1 of health specialists, could be on the verge of getting a remedy that could save the world?

British American Tobacco (BAT), the dominant cigarette manufacturer in the region – which includes Intore, Dunhill, Sportsman, etc) – is working on a COVID-19 vaccine which is now at the pre-trial stage.

 

If a firm accused of creating carcinogens becomes successful, it will be the biggest public relations coups that it might even get away with murder, by seeing smoking regulations relaxed.

 

But BAT is not gambling, it is not groping in the dark as it is not the first time it has successfully been involved in pharmaceuticals before. Its subsidiary, Reynolds American Inc. owns KPB which took the world by storm in 2014 by coming up with the only effective treatment against the Ebola virus.

 

Right now all hands are on the deck in many countries as they go on a war footing. And like in most major wars, industries put on hold what they were doing to join the war efforts by producing war equipment.

When a company like General Motors suspends some vehicle assembly lines to begin making ventilators and face masks, that is when one realizes that we are at war.

Wars are not won by worrying and wringing fingers in despair; people will have to go to the trenches knowing very well the capacities of the enemy. Once we figure that out and act decisively, there is no doubt the Coronavirus will be kicked out and defeated.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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