It’s in. Weeks earlier some thought it would never cross our borders, but it has. While the number of confirmed positive cases worldwide is rapidly rising, there’s a very different story from China.
March 19, 2020, China for the first time recorded zero new locally transmitted case since the pandemic began. A testament to China’s success in containing the spread of the virus. Other countries have begun to implement China’s strategies, Nigeria should do the same.
Drones have the skies in China. They broadcast information and latest developments via loudspeakers. They also spray disinfectants, deliver packages and take peoples temperature via Infrared thermal imaging (which has proven more accurate than human-conducted readings).
The role of proper awareness cannot be understated. While we might not be able to replicate this type of sophisticated drone technology at scale. But public announcements and on our streets as part of a constant nationwide awareness program will help immensely. There should also be clear communication on the scope of lockdowns.
Regions in China have adopted a homeschooling program for over 10,000 schools and 5 million students. The Chinese Ministry of education even shared information on how students can resume classes from their homes.
In Nigeria, tertiary, secondary and primary institutions have been shut down across Nigeria. Continuing the formal education of students online while they at home should be worked on — no one knows if the shutdown would surpass one month. Let’s not abandon an Einstein to game consoles or T.V screens.
China’s Sinopec petrol stations now sell no-contact groceries: buy online, and have groceries put directly into the trunk of your car. No need to leave the driver’s seat or even open the window.
Eliminating avenues for contact is the goal. USSD/online payments should become the norm. Retail outlets could enforce this by rejecting all cash transactions where ever possible. Zero transaction charges can be introduced to incentivise this behaviour.
Economic response plans
Mr President has approved for petrol to be sold at N125 in Nigeria, a step in the right direction. It is difficult to hand out economic benefits as Canada or Australia have done to their citizens because well, this is Nigeria. Internet tariffs should also be considered as most people will adopt remote work.
Let’s keep in mind these 6 things
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Social distancing
- Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands
- Sneeze or cough in your elbow or a tissue
- Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly
- If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing seek guidance from a health authority