Covid-19, should we fear for Africa?

Source: World Health Organisation

Inevitably, there remains the most fierce evil of our age. The modern-day weapon of mass destruction. It has succeeded in bringing all the great powers to their knees. From China to Europe, Africa is no exception. But is the continent, already renowned for its poverty, capable of coping with it?

Initially considered the “lucky” continent, Africans were convinced that they would not be affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19). It took some time precisely to realize this after the first cases observed here and there in Africa a few days ago. From doubt to fear, the threat is very real. The Coronavirus or Covid-19 is medically proven. The disease has hit all African countries hard, even if the degree is not the same (so far) as in the West. But for how long are we safe? The World Health Organization warned in a message not long ago that “Africa must prepare for the worst! ». From an epidemic in the beginning, Covid-19 has turned into a pandemic. This scourge is an evil of our modern times which does not differentiate any social stratum, race, superiority or power. In a message addressed to his nation, French President Emmanuel Macron repeated more than five times thefamous phrase: “We are at war! ». Some languages have had fun saying that we are at “World War III”. On second thought, this should be taken seriously, since the common denominator is to face this pandemic. A world war in which all the countries of the world are allies and where the enemy unfortunately remains invisible

Deconstructing African Thought

Already ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with this pandemic, Africa suffers from the nonsense and fantasies that the disease will never penetrate it. Many Africans stubbornly believe that the colour of their skin is an advantage in the face of this disease. Despite cases of Africans suffering from Covid-19 , this idea remains the same in some parts of Africa. Even though in some urban centres people take the threat very seriously. No one is immune to Covid-19 disease! It remains a common enemy, a global enemy.

Between measures and social realities

In Chad, in a communiqué signed by the Minister of State, the government has taken the fight against Covid-19 in hand through preventive measures by asking for the closure of places of worship (churches and mosques), bars, play centres, the regrouping of people, public transport, the closure of land and air borders… These measures are all or almost the same everywhere in Africa. Some African states such as South Africa, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria, Nigeria, the two Congo have gone as far as to confine their populations. This is deplored by some analysts. In view of the social and economic realities, the measures taken in these countries do not allow the population to live in these conditions. The exception is Benin, where President Patrice Talon had clearly stated on Sunday 29 March that his country could not establish confinement given the social realities.

It is very difficult to change the African habit for a while. Many of them live from day to day. Who brave the sun, bend their backs to live. And also how to be confined in common houses sometimes without electricity? It is also very difficult for some households to stock up on provisions and keep going for a few weeks.

Instead of raising awareness, the police are left to use their power to abuse the population in the name of non-compliance. One thing is certain, there will be a post-Covid-19 era. Africa needs to take stock and learn lessons, especially about the well-being of its people. The improvement of the living conditions of its people. A decent job for one’s youth, for example, can be beneficial. Africa can make efforts, respect hygiene measures, even if it will take time, but measures such as containment, the continent is not ready.

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