The United Nations (UN) yesterday warned that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic might be jeopardised unless governments retained “the trust and participation of citizens throughout,” Thecitypulsenews reports.
The admonition came as doubts about the virus grew among many Nigerians. Viral videos have since emerged purporting to show COVID-19 patients partying in isolation wards, even as #EndCovidScamNow trended.
On Tuesday, the Zamfara State government criticised the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for allegedly inflating the figures of cases in the state. It was the latest in a series of spats between the NCDC and some state governors, who accused the agency of plotting to manipulate figures.
In an article titled ‘Global Solidarity with Africa is an Imperative’, published on the UN news website, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that in the fight against the pandemic, “The human rights of all must be respected.”
The UN chief warned: “The pandemic threatens African progress. It will aggravate long-standing inequalities and heighten hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability to disease. Already, demand for Africa’s commodities, tourism and remittances are declining. The opening of the trade zone has been pushed back – and millions could be pushed into extreme poverty. The virus has taken more than 2,500 African lives. Vigilance and preparedness are critical.”
Guterres nevertheless commended “what African countries have done already, together with the African Union,” saying he had “been calling for a global response package amounting to at least 10 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product for Africa” and continues to “advocate a comprehensive debt framework – starting with an across-the-board debt standstill for countries unable to service their debt, followed by targeted debt relief and a comprehensive approach to structural issues in the international debt architecture to prevent defaults.”