COVID-19 scares visiting UN officials in Gombe
World body lauds Africa’s successes in campaign against pandemic
The fear of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has sent jitters down the spines of United Nations (UN) officials, who visited Gombe State yesterday to assess the level of development, as they refused to alight from their vehicles.
Part of the team’s itinerary was to visit the Wuroshie Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) colony in Akko North Council.
The crowd at the IDP colony was shocked to see the team led by a visibly scared Edward Kallon.
But the general overseer in the office of the Executive Secretary, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs. Larei Maigari, and personnel from the deputy governor’s office persuaded the team not to abandon the mission.
The Deputy Governor, Dr. Daniel Jatu, ordered his security details and men of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) to push the crowd back.
Kallon later admitted: “When we got here, I was scared of contacting COVID-19, but I have taken necessary medications.”
MEANWHILE, the UN has commended Africa for its exceptional management of COVI-19.
President of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Ambassador Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, gave the commendation yesterday while addressing a virtual press conference from his New York base.
Muhammad-Bande said that developing countries had done better than developed nations as regards the management of the pandemic.
Experts had predicted millions of COVID-19 deaths in Africa considering that many countries in the continent were ranked low in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Index (HDI).
“COVID-19 has reminded us that we cannot have peace when our neighbours are having no peace. You cannot be healthy when your neighbours are not healthy. The pandemic has brought this to bear directly.
“Poor and rich countries are all affected. In some respect, Africa or Nigeria has done far better than countries that were expected to have done even better in dealing with the pandemic. Of course, the difference is that richer countries have been better able to provide palliatives for their citizens than poorer countries that were struggling even before the pandemic,” he stated.
The UNGA president, however, observed that poorer segments of every country were worse hit by the pandemic, and that even in countries that were better structured in terms of financing, the poorer villages were the worst hit.
He stressed the need for more attention to the issue of disparity in technology, whether in education or in agriculture, in developing countries.
“UN has taken the lead, pushing for equal access to vaccines once they are available. The United Nations operates on the principle of leaving no one behind,” he added.
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