The trending global news is the outbreak of coronavirus in mainland China. This has been declared a global public health emergency. The disease has been reported in 27 other countries. The only two continents with no reported cases are Africa and South America.
17,488 persons have been infected. 362 people have died in China and one person in the Philippines. The reported death rate is 2.07%.
With the weak health system security and poor infrastructure present in Africa, one hopes this absence of cases is not due to misdiagnosis.
China is Africa’s leading trade partner, with Chinese and Africans travelling to and from Africa. In addition, there are travels between Nigeria and the other 27 affected countries.
I was shocked and dismayed to find that the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing and its other consular offices have no information on coronavirus on its website for Nigerians living in China or Nigerians intending to travel to China during the disease outbreak.
This lack of responsibility or proactive action by the Nigerian Embassy in China is inexcusable. It is shocking that the Embassy still lists Jonathan Goodluck as Nigeria’s President on its 2020 website. What a national embarrassment.
The Federal Ministry of Health, State Governments and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria among other agencies are being proactive and must be commended.
However, the Nigerian Embassy in China stands accused of ineptitude. The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to step up and call the embassy to order.
Each Nigerian Life is Priceless.
Prof Rotimi Jaiyesimi is an Associate Medical Director for Patient Safety, Consultant Gynaecologist, visiting Professor at University Sunderland, UK and the University of Ibadan Nigeria.