OPINION: COVID-19 ECONOMICS MUST SPUR LOCAL RELIANCE ON DRUGS, GOODS AND SERVICES

This Coronavirus health crisis has tasked and overwhelmed our meager and robust healthcare system throughout the world. There are fears and some panic from the worst case scenario. Nevertheless, Coronavirus must be taken seriously and all orders from constituted authorities adhere to. Coronavirus (Covid-19) has sucked most of the living attention out of most of us, especially our international travelers.

People moving from one country to another have developed cold feet, most would rather die at home in their own country. So, most are flooding back home. Please quarantine them before they infect the poor they ridiculed and left behind. African countries are not cemeteries.

While it is true that we have many infectious diseases like Lassa fever in poverty stricken areas, pulmonary diseases, diabetes and blood pressure killing more people in Africa that we must worry about. This Coronavirus is mythical because we do not know as much about it but more importantly, it infects those very health workers more as Ebola, and spreads so rapidly that coping with it requires draconian measures as in China. No, there are no lions and tigers in the streets of Moscow to enforce curfew but there are jail time for defying the law enforcement.

There are cross safety advantages against other flu and diseases since measures taken against Coronavirus will keep many diseases abay. All the attention and Investments to combat this disease will produce preventive returns in Public Health generally. However, we cannot deny the additional economic, emotional and mental stress experienced in personal terms, seen in families and businesses globally.

Covid-19 prevention is not compatible with free and democratic cultures most people around the world prefer. It has brought rationing of medical resources in the wealthy countries, some prioritizing care between the young and the old. Fighting for healthcare as a right is one thing, overwhelming the system is a different situation experienced only in a few cases.

If Africans cannot learn self-reliance from Coronavirus Economics, nothing will change the sorry situation of our foreign dependency. Coronavirus has become the disease of the elites, well traveled and sophisticated class that are now reassessing their exposure to the so called civilized world in general and foreign delicacies in particular.

Coronavirus Economics has changed the game and opened the eyes, hears and brains of those Africans willing to learn. The Chinese are capable of transporting medical supplies that prevent and ameliorate Coronavirus in Europe, America and Africa as the most efficient and cheaper manufacturers. The advantage China has in welding its power today did not start today.

China exports most of what is needed to prevent Covid-19 from masks to sanitizers. Trust Nigerians and other African countries to duplicate each of these locally by popular demand. We have Akpeteshie, black soap and whatever it takes.

There are reasons China became the manufacturing capital of the world. Americans shunned brand names realizing that quality can come from Japan in automobiles or from China into Walmart stores. American corporate world including Microsoft, Google, Apple, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler opened factories outside the United States.

However, African countries were stuck on brand names from Britain and America even after realizing that their favorite products of new and used goods were made in China and other Asian countries that were poorer than Nigerian, Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa until recently. Most of the trade between these African countries, as much as 70% were with European and American companies that subcontract their finished goods to Developing countries in Asia while the African countries import them.

Closing the Airports turns out to be money saver for some countries but money loser for international airlines. Well, some African Presidents have more and better equipped Presidential planes in their fleet than their countries’ Airlines. While some Countries after 60 years cannot maintain Airline, Present Buhari Airline is more useful to him than an efficient Nigerian Airline.

Potential Coronavirus cures are springing up including some old medication to stabilize it and may become effective. One of the most interesting drugs is Hydroxychloroquine, or. Chloroquine is widely available in African countries as medication for malaria. However, some Africans are rushing to the Drug stores while Americans and Europeans are besieging their doctors for prescriptions for “prevention”!

Hydroxychloroquine has not been approved for Coronavirus as cure or for prevention. While people’s anxiety is understandable, fear leads to irrational behavior. Covid-19 as Coronavirus, does not need a Visa to cross from one continent or country to another.

Fake Pastors and Imams with their business centers on every street getting little traffic, have been exposed by the forces of Coronavirus. They are being creative, switching to online congregations and twisting their predictions to the prediction of Covid-19 to raise their profile and value. One of them had to be arrested in Accra for defying limited gathering. Others were banned and closed in Lagos.

These are trying times and Coronavirus Economics forced countries and people to re-calibrate their attitude to life. The empty branding and inferiority complex that fuel foreign brands over local made are gradually blown out from the bottom.

*** Written by Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa.

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