The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Youth Council (EYC) has urged African countries to step up efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus on the continent.
The body which is the youth wing of ECOWAS, noted that traditionally, most African societies were communal in nature, heightening the fears of Coronavirus spread.
More worrisome, said EYC, is the weak health sector and the often phlegmatic response by African governments in the event of an emergency
On Monday, the number of Covid-19 victims rose to 30 in Nigeria, across Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan. More has since been recorded especially withing government circles. fueling fears of more victims as days roll.
Overall, 34 of Africa’s 54 countries have cases, with the total close to 650, according to the World Health Organisation.
A statement signed by EYC President Emmanuel William implored authorities in Africa to wake up from its slumber.
“It is no news that, in the last few weeks, COVID-19 has seriously impacted the world in negative light,” the statement began.
“We have assessed the economic, social, religious and health implication of coronavirus. The consequence is grievous among the very advanced countries of the world.
“As active players in global advancement, our heart and prayers are with the people of China, Italy, UK, USA, Iran, Japan South Korea, India, Singapore and all affected countries of the world.
“We note with concern cases within the African region. Our fears are associated to the mechanism in the spread of the virus.
“Considering that the African society is naturally communal, it is crystal clear that the virus may soon ravage the entire continent if not carefully handled. No thanks to the myriad of challenges African countries face in the health sector.
“WAYC is therefore appealing to World Health Organisation, United Nations, African Union, and all regional organisations in Africa to step up their games. A more proactive step is required. The government of each state must realise that its fundamental value is to ensure safety of lives of her citizens.
The youth body further urges government to show sincerity and probity in funds by donors or international organisations to combat coronavirus.
“WAYC demands accountability in any counterpart funds received by government and organisations to combat and curtail the spread of coronavirus.
“It is on credible information that in Wuhan China where the coronavirus began in December, has not recorded a new case of the virus in recent times. Africans must ensure best hygiene practices and all government within the continent must demonstrate strength in character and capacity.
The body thanked Nigeria and Ghana for promptly rising to the occasion.
“We wish to thank the government of the most populous Africa country-Nigeria, for putting in place mechanism to put out the virus. WAYC is aware of the crucial roles of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the collaborative efforts of health practitioners and other civil societies. The directive by government in banning large gathering in churches and other public places is also commendable. However, WAYC believes that beforehand, there should have been more proactive measures ahead to curtail coronavirus.
“We appreciate the proactive measures of Ghana government. Our hearts and prayers are with South Africa where the number of cases jumped from 116 to 150. WAYC totally supports Uganda which has also declared a ban at bars and other social gatherings.
“We admit that Coronavirus may have started in Wuhan China but, as a body, we consider it as a test against all humanity.”
“Our organisation stands with the entire world in this trying time. It’s a moment to test our bonds, share love, and reflect on sustaining the universe. WAYC advises citizens of Africa not to panic but adhere strictly to preventive measures as directed by governments.”
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