- Fareed Zakaria, a top American journalist with the CNN, said the world will wish it tried harder to intervene if Nigeria falls due to the coronavirus pandemic
- Zakaria said apart from the health crisis caused by COVID-19, the next phase of the disease will be global economic paralysis
- The American journalist said the looming global tragedy can only be prevented if world leaders fully cooperate to see to the end of the virus
Fareed Zakaria, a top American journalist with the CNN, has criticised the world's reactions to the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world.
In a CNN video posted on Twitter on Sunday, April 5, Zakaria, said world leaders are not cooperating enough to see to the end of the virus.
"We would not be able to get back to anything resembling normal life unless the major powers in the world are able to find a way to cooperate and manage these problems together," the journalist said.
He said while developing countries, including Nigeria, have recorded relatively lesser cases so far, there is a tendency that they could be hit hard by the disease in the coming days.
Speaking further, Zakaria said the world cannot afford to let countries like Nigeria and Iraq explode over the coronavirus pandemic.
“If countries like Iraq and Nigeria explode, the cost in refugees, disease and terrorism would all make us wish we had tried harder to manage their fall," the American journalist noted.
The COVID-19 pandemic which started in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province of China, has spread to over 200 countries and infected over a million people with at least 60,000 deaths.
The virus does not have any vaccine or cure at the moment, though thousands of those infected, about 20% of the confirmed cases, have recovered from it.
As of Sunday, April 5, there were 232 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, according to the information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Also speaking on the economic impact of the pandemic, Zakaria said owing to the drop in the demand for oil globally, the implications for countries like Nigeria could be “political turmoil, refugees, revolutions, crackdowns, maybe terrorism”.
“All of these might happen on a scale we haven’t seen for decades,” the CNN journalist warned.
Apart from the devastating health crisis, Zakaria said the next phase of the pandemic will economic paralysis.
“The first phase has been the health care crisis in the world’s major economies. The next phase is the economic paralysis, the magnitude we are only just beginning to comprehend. Next comes the explosions in the developing world. So far, the number of infected have been low in countries like India, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, probably because they are less linked in trade and travel than the advanced world. In addition, these countries have tested very few people which is key to keeping their numbers deficiently low. But unless we get lucky and it turns out that heat does temper the virus, these countries will all get hit and hard.
“And then, there are the oil states. Even if the quarrel between Saudi Arabia and Russia gets resolved, at this point, the demand for oil has collapsed and will not soon recover. Consider what that means for countries like Libya, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela, where oil revenue makes up the vast majority of government revenue.
“The vast majority be …the economy…. expect political turmoil, refugees, revolutions, crackdowns, maybe terrorism. All of these might happen on a scale we haven’t seen for decades," he said.
Meanwhile, following the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Lagos state, Professor Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health said that the state may witness a rise of up to 39,000 in a worst-case scenario.
Abayomi revealed this on Friday, March 27, at a press briefing in Lagos state. He said in the coming weeks if residents fail to comply with preventive measures such as social distancing put in place to curb the spread of the virus, the figures might increase.
Also, Legit.ng earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari met with members of the presidential committee to review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation's economy.
The information was revealed on the official Facebook page of the president on Thursday, April 2.
Legit.ng gathered that the meeting was used by the committee to give Buhari a report on the effect of COVID-19 situation on the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians across the country.
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