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Opinions of Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Columnist: MyNigeria

An Italian conspiracy

Coronavirus (for illustration) Coronavirus (for illustration)

If you ask every other country of the world how else they got the novel coronavirus you would most likely hear an Italian contact somewhere in the confession.

Just as the deadly virus began to spread and even douse its hold on Wuhan, it found itself another stronghold in Italy.

According to Al Jazeera, Italy as at Sunday reported 368 new deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as the country's death toll hit 1,809 while the number of positive cases rose to 24,747 from 21,157 on Saturday, the country's civil protection authority said.

It was in the twilight of these occurrences that the Italians remembered that they had businesses doing in other countries and so happened to travel round the world knowing fully well how deadly the flu-like symptoms of the virus was, as they made it a mission to sorely infect African countries.

To be quite honest, Africa was not ready for what hit them even though the dark continent would still be the continent with the least confirmed cases.

With just half of the 54 nation continent reporting 347 cases- an outright contrast to Europe or Italy for instance which had already recorded 368 deaths alone while Africa's case is a combined record of 27 countries with 347 cases.

Nigeria seems to be doing quite well containing the virus to the barest minimum from what seemed to be like a 3 contact case to currently one- the primary index case is actually worth celebrating. Even though confirmed corona cases have now shot up to three in Lagos; many of the citizens are still very lackadaisical about social distancing and marred by greed- culminating in the spike of sanitizer prices on the shelf.

It's rather sad that the Europeans wish us death- Africans as a whole because we apparently survived this plague better than they are. One would think they are wishing us evil as all eyes are on the continent with the fewest number of cases.

For every case reported in the African continent, it's first, major and only contact was initially an Italian before it began to transform into a UK or France contact. Seychelles which is conveniently off the East African coast and in the Indian Ocean was a case that really baffled myself when I learned it reported its index case.

To my surprise, it was an Italian. What were Italians doing there amidst their own country? Why have they chosen to travel to almost all African countries? Nobody may ever know. The Nigerian case in Yaba initially insisted on a world-class treatment threatening to run away. It was hilarious to hear because- unlike Europe, Africa is truly backward and if the contact case was seeking to be well fed and treated- all he was going to get was a fan and Amala plus some old good coke to wash it down.

I mean it's what you see that you eventually get.

Four countries- Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Morocco -- account for more than half of the novel coronavirus cases on the continent. And for the death statistics, seven people have died from Covid-19 in Africa -- four in Algeria, two in Egypt and one in Morocco.

While the figures are worth emulating, African countries should be wise to do the one thing Ghana has perfectly done. Ban all flights or movement into country and quarantine citizens with permits seeking a return home. Declare a work from home contingency plan and set up testing centres to curb the spread. A curfew would do or better still home deliveries for restaurants still willing to work in these times.

Africans may have a harsh climate that may make coronavirus unlikely to spread rapidly like Europe, nonetheless, no one should take the spread for granted coming after the deaths recorded from the virus.

While we wait for Nigeria and several other countries in Africa to follow in Ghana footsteps, its worth considering if and truly if there is an Italian conspiracy to get Africans infected and wipe several dominant countries off the continent for greed, power, control or just to see how things would unfold.