GLOBAL EMERGENCY

Isolating China as Coronavirus patient zero is pretentious

Highly infectious virus originated from China

In Summary

• As the wearers of the shoe, they know where it pinches most and we can only do our best to help them address it.

• Other parts of the world are also grappling with their own evils such as Ebola in West Africa and desert locusts in Kenya. 

A mother helps her son to put on a face mask at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, February 4.
HIGHLY INFECTIOUS; A mother helps her son to put on a face mask at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, following the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, February 4.
Image: REUTERS

China started the new year on a rather sad note with the outbreak of Coronavirus. The government is pulling out all stops to address the virus and we wish them all the best. As a member of the global family, occurrences in China affect humanity at large. It’s the second-largest economy and thus everything from tourism to production to trade are feeling the heat.

Though the virus originated from China, it’s not the only challenge that the global fraternity is grappling with.

A few years ago, Ebola was ravaging some large areas in Africa. Wildfires have blazed across parts of Australia, destroying habitations. Floods, drought and pollution are an increasing menace across the world. We also have wars and terror-related issues. Here in East Africa, we are experiencing an invasion of the desert locust that’s threatening our food security. The list is endless.

As Africa, let’s be prepared. And keep high alert levels. We know firsthand how an outbreak can wreak havoc on our healthcare systems. 

With the virus, as with other challenges, we can only play our part while supporting other members globally to combat theirs. We are increasingly intertwined and globally dependent and the mantra that ‘no man is an island' has never rung truer.

We recall, for instance, that oil prices spiked when drones attacked oil fields in Saudi Arabia. And we are all poorer, flora and fauna-wise due to the destroyed animals and plants in Australia. Our purchasing power is affected when locusts, floods and other calamities befall us thus hampering trade.

Let’s not use this chance to hate china or give way to racist behaviour against the Asian community. Instead, let us focus on the disease, not the people. Coordinate with China and the World Health Organization to combat this global emergency. As the wearers of the shoe, they know where it pinches most and we can only do our best to help them address it. Arbitrarily closing borders may not be helpful especially in this era of global supply chains–medicines included.

And as they tackle this challenge, let's learn a thing or two, which might come in handy one day. For instance, building a fully-fledged hospital in days was impressive, virus or no virus. China will defeat the virus, but until they do, let’s give them a supporting hand not pull them down in suspicion. This is what makes us a global family. 

 

Nairobi