If Africa succumbs to the rapacious impact of Covid-19, it would largely be as a result of the lack of direction by its leaders, religious superstition and poverty.
John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania is in line with Nigerian pastorpreneurs and businimams who frown at closing their business places of worship.
Magufuli, a Catholic refused to close down Tanzania’s places of worship. Instead, on Sunday he went to church and accepted Holy Communion.
In his remarks at the service, he explained tactlessly: “Corona cannot survive in the body of Christ; it will burn. That is exactly why I did not panic while taking the Holy Communion.” Obviously, Magufuli’s brand of Catholicism beats those in Italy. God help Tanzanians.
Reports that Kenya had banned sex for six months could not be verified. The big question to such order, if it were issued would be how to monitor compliance.
Apparently, there’s a science to the Kenya sex ban. In Belgium, a sex ban has been imposed after a ‘coronavirus party’ devolved into an orgy of debauchery for 500 swingers.
At the end of the lecherous acts, 300 participants went down with the disease.
In the United States the land of free, there was a spike in the number of people testing positive after a Miami Beach grand party.
Uganda is well known for its unending political crisis in which its maverick dictators are constantly fighting its idealistic challengers.
However, in handling Covid-19, Yoweri Museveni has earned a lot of laurels for leading from the frontline.
At the onset of the disease, Museveni’s health minister told citizens who are in Uganda to stay at home and urged those outside the country not to seek to return.
Well, it is more than that, Museveni announced a penalty for returnees – they would be quarantined at their own expense in a hotel. But if they resist, they’d be bundled back into the aircraft that brought them to return to where they came – at their expense!
The Ugandan leader also declared a forced moratorium on rents. According to a presidential decree, landlords who fail to forgo rents for the next six months will be sanctioned.
Any attempt to force rent is punishable with a heavy fine or imprisonment or both. It’ll be interesting to know how that pans out eventually.
A pandemic in the social media era has exposed the vulnerability of humans to unverified news. A video of a Chinese man being helped up by his compatriot in Isolo, a suburb of Lagos was not a Covid-19 case after all. It was an altercation between a driver and his boss.
The report that Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin had unleashed several lions and tigers to enforce a lockdown in Moscow. The picture of the lion was reportedly taken in South Africa in 2016 and had nothing to do with Russia or Covid-19.
A similar picture in which the Spanish minister was lamenting the value of a football star’s salary to that of a scientist is a ruse. Not only did she not make such a comparison, the picture in the meme was taken from a news item in which she eulogised Moroccan farmers.
While the US-based International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses generally names viruses, US President, Donald J Trump carried his non-conformity to norms a little farther with Covid-19 preferring to call it the ‘China virus’.
He defended his action by insisting that the virus originated from China.
Africa has had to deal with taxonomic racism in the past with both Lassa and Ebola, both haemorrhagic fevers named after African entities. Lassa was first discovered in Nigeria in 1969 and has continued to answer to its name.
Ebola, takes its name from a river in the DRC, although it first manifested in the old Sudan where it was called the Sudan Virus. Africans would be wondering why Covid-19 shouldn’t be called the Wuhan virus after the town where it first appeared.
China is a global superpower and Africa is a global beggar-continent whose states were once called shithole nations by Trump.
The failure to call Covid-19 the Wuhan virus has led to another problem for some African leaders.
In Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima called it coronavasis. But nothing has armed President Muhammadu Buhari’s enemies like his decision to finally agree to address his citizens on the virus and what his country was doing to address it.
The president has baptised the virus as ‘Covik One Nine’. It was all his enemies have been waiting for to get back at him because they are all over social media laughing at his gaffe. Africans never miss a good opportunity to laugh, even in the midst of grave calamities.