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The COVID -19, first reported in December 2019, has had great impart in the way of lives of the world at large.  Till date, there is no confirmed cure or vaccine. To combat it, different nations have imposed measures to contain it. It must be noted however that these measures put into consideration the way of living, the available infrastructure and amenity in such country.

We start from China. China introduced a draconian lockdown in which tens of millions of citizen of certain city were on quarantine in cities like Wuhan Hubei province. This is reported to be the largest quasi-quarantine in human history. If information coming out of China is true, then the approach worked. Italy is adopting that measure right now too.

In US, UK, Spain and other European countries, their approach has been social distancing and sit-at-home, basically to contain the spread of the virus. Note that, they came up with these measures after due consideration of their own way of lives, available infrastructures and social amenities. Working from home is easy since there is stable electricity; government is supplying food (and even paying for staying at home) which eliminate the fear of hunger; and if anyone get sick, the hospital is usually a stone throw; just to name a few. I think the approach is working to some extent.

Here in Africa, more specifically Nigeria, our approach is to copy the developed countries by preaching sitting at home and social distancing. Meanwhile, we do not have the facility that will want to make people stay at home (at least for a long time). For instance, there is no stable power, so people cannot work from home and so do not have anything to engage them. We don’t have running water, so it may be hard to observe the health guidelines of intermittent washing of hands and more. You will agree that it would be hard to stay at home. SO should we go out and expose ourselves to the virus? Well, NO.

Our problems did not start today. We cannot ask for stable electricity or running water and the rest but we can find a way round this (COVID-19). To do this, we need to develop our own approach – AFRICAN/NIGERIAN APPROACH. Our government is confused and has no bearing. They want to do something but do not know the best way.  That is where the youths come in. African/Nigerian youths are known to be highly innovative. Our institutions of learning may be on lockdown but our brains are not. Our society needs us to win the war against COVID-19.

At the end, the youths will be most affected. Time is being wasted.  So let’s rise and think of a way out together. Youths need to help government develop the perfect approach for containment because we are the society. It is until COVID-19 is contained that we can now hope for vaccine and cure.

*COVID-19 : Corona Virus Disease (reported in 2019)

ADEREHINWO, Adeniyi A., is a final year student of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, University of Ibadan.

He can be reached on 08132380951.

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