COVID-19 NATIONAL RESPONSE: MOVING BEYOND LOCKDOWN TO FINDING A SOLUTION
BY BLESSING MASE
There is no gainsaying the fact that COVID-19 has come to stay but how long it will stay, is a question this writer cannot answer. The strange thing about COVID-19 is the rapidity with which it spreads. Although it has been verified that COVID-19 is not airborne, it spreads like wildfire. Lockdown or no lockdown, COVID-19 keeps spreading.
During the period of total lockdown in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun State, people tested positive. Even now, in this partial lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State, many more citizens are still being tested positive. In fact, statistics show that since commencement of the partial lockdown to date, many more people have tested positive. This has made some citizens suggest that Nigeria should be totally locked down once again for some weeks. Their suggestion raises the question: “Should Nigeria be totally locked down again or should normalcy be restored?”
From the experience so far, total lockdown may help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 just as partial lockdown will, but it does not stop the spread completely. This writer is of the view that total lockdown in Nigeria once again is not advisable given the fact that many Nigerians have suffered greatly during the initial total lockdown period. A reenactment of the happenings is not advisable.
Just as President Muhammadu Buhari announced some weeks ago, what we should be thinking about now is how we can deal with COVID-19 pandemic without asking Nigerians to stay at home.
The Madagascar Example
Madagascar is one of the African countries that is not hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Madagascar is not locked down. Her citizens are going about their normal businesses. Children are going to schools. COVID-19, a disease that has defied powerful nations of the world like the US, France, Italy, Spain, UK, etc, is no threat to Madagascar. This is because she has devised a way to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As at the time of writing this article (May 17, 2020), statistics show that Madagascar recorded 238 confirmed cases, had 112 recoveries, and recorded no single death form COVID-19. Madagascar, with a population of 25 million people, has proven that total lockdown may not be necessary. She has proven that instead of shutting down the entire country, a solution can be devised to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Madagascar’s way of dealing with COVID-19 pandemic without locking herself down is the application of a herbal cure she has discovered. The country’s Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (MIAR) developed the herbal cure which is called “COVID Organic.” It serves not only as a cure but as a vaccine. Doses of the herbal tonic are given to children at schools to protect them against contracting the virus.
The best we can have from a total lockdown is that it will reduce the spread of COVID-19. It does not completely stop the spread. The total lockdown has a terrible consequence on the citizens and on the economy. Talk about the collapse of businesses, loss of jobs, and untold hardship. If total lockdown cannot solve the problem, then, it is high time we moved beyond lockdown and start finding ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic without asking people to stay at home.
Recently, it was reported that the federal government imported Madagascar’s “COVID Organic” herbal cure, which NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) is expected to test before it can be administered to Nigerians. This is a step in the right direction. It has been confirmed that the herbs from which the herbal tonic was produced are available in Nigeria. That being the case, it is advisable that the federal government provides financial support to our alternative medical practitioners to enable them produce a similar herbal cure in Nigeria. It is also advisable that Nigeria collaborate with Madagascar so that Nigerians can learn from Madagascar how to produce the herbal tonic.
If we have the COVID Organic herbal cure in Nigeria, COVID-19 would not be a threat, and Nigerians can go about their normal businesses knowing fully well that they are protected.