Chido Nwangwu, Founder of USAfricaomline.com expresses concerns that Nigeria is yet to publicise protocols ahead of resumption of international travels
Tomorrow Saturday, August 29, 2020, Nigeria will open its two major airports, in Lagos and Abuja for international flights. Nigerians are among the most traveled population across the world in prospect of business and professional development of human capacities.
First, in an understandable push for safety and life, the Nigerian government like most governments in the world, closed or suspended aspects of domestic economic activities and also closed international travels to and from the country. It is important to note that the Nigerian government promised to release some protocols regarding the opening of the two airports. At the time of my writing, international travelers into or from Nigeria have not seen any protocols released by the Aviation Ministry.
Such uncertainty and last minute approach have created concerns, legitimately, for those who intend to come to Nigeria.
Second, the combined implications and impact of those necessary actions left serious and unsettling drag on the entire economic direction of the country. The coronavirus has pushed many countries into recession. Therefore, the reality of the coronavirus and its long-term consequences have become known to many. Especially, in the developed countries in the United States of America, Europe and some parts of Africa. The number of deaths recorded (and I put emphasis on the word recorded) remain astonishingly very high! Imagine the numbers in the United States from the Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris. She said that one American dies every 80 seconds from the Coronavirus!!
Third, is the fact that COVID-19 has become part of the ecology of life and living. Therefore there is a high need to follow the guidelines from your country’s Centre for Disease Control and other responsible protocols for personal hygiene. The refusal of the President of the United States to wear masks regularly, as a responsible signal to the rest of the country and the world is, to say the very least, astonishing!
Lessons from Kenya
President Uhuru Kenyatta does not want to take any chances regarding the spread of the Coronavirus in the east African country. The chain-smoking son of the former leader of the country has extended the night curfew and ban of alcohol sales in restaurants as part of a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, he said “In the next 30 days, I’ve also directed that the Ministry of Health in conjunction with all bar owners will develop self-regulating mechanisms as part of their civic responsibility to their clientele in order to allow their resumption.“ The total number of confirmed infections across the country to 33,016 and the total number of deaths are 564. 19, 296 people recovered from the virus.
I believe that a number of countries will benefit from the method and focused approach of Kenyatta issued during the eleventh presidential address on COVID-19 pandemic, as highlighted by the nation of Kenya.
One, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government in conjunction with the chairperson of the Council of Governors, shall, in three weeks, convene an inclusive national consultative conference to review our national and county COVID response and together with all stakeholders, chart Kenya’s post-COVID future.
Two, that the closure of bars and nightclubs is continued for a further 30 days. However, the prohibition against the sale of alcohol by licensed hotels with residence is vacated. In the next 30 days, bar owners, in consultation with the Ministry of Health will develop self-regulating mechanisms as part of their civic responsibility to their clientele, in order to allow their resumption.
Three, that the closing time for restaurants and eateries be and is hereby varied by one hour from 7pm to 8pm, effective August 27, 2020.
Four, in accordance with the recommendations of the Inter-Faith Council, the maximum number of persons permitted to attend funerals and weddings is reviewed upwards to 100, with all in attendance abiding with Ministry of Health protocols.
Five, the ban on the sale of second-hand clothing, otherwise known as ‘Mitumba’, is herewith lifted. Details of how this will operated and the protocols for the same has been announced by the government.
Six, that the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage and the Ministry of Health will jointly issue guidelines on the gradual resumption of sporting events in Kenya.
Seven, that the nationwide curfew that is currently in force between the hours of 9pm and 4am daily, be and is hereby extended by a further 30 days.
Finally, I commend President Kenyatta for leading among the good examples of countries who took the challenge of the pandemic very seriously. Among those are the protective and preemptive actions of the countries of New Zealand and Australia. Unlike some leaders who recklessly prefer to bury their heads in the sand — just like the ostrich; forgetting that their hairy behind is open for the whole world to see.