The Federal Ministry of Science & Technology have announced a 36million naira price for any scientist who discovers the cure to coronovirus and lassa fever.
The Minister, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made this challenge to Nigerian inventors, innovators and scientists stating that he is very confident Nigerian scientists have what it takes to find a solution to these problems.
Lassa fever which is contacted from rats is slowly penetrating Nigeria and taking lives in some states as they are yet to find a vaccine capable of ending the epidemic.
While Coronavirus which began in Wuhan region of China has already claimed thousands of lives around China and some parts of the world. The disease is highly contagious and a cure is yet to be found for it. WHO has declared it a world epidemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the launch of a Visa policy which he says is going to open Nigeria to the world for business.
The President says the Visa policy will boost tourism, improve Nigeria business environment, foreign direct investments, attract innovation, amongst other benefits.
This policy is coming days after the US placed a Visa ban on Nigerians applying for permanent residency in the United States, stating a number of breeches from the Nigerian Government.
The President’s statement, “Pleased to announce that Nigeria has a new Visa Policy, which I launched today. This new Policy will help improve our business environment, attract FDI, boost tourism, and improve African integration, without compromising national security and our territorial integrity.
“This new Visa Policy will advance our goal of building a globally competitive economy, by helping attract Innovation, and specialized skills and knowledge from abroad, to complement locally available ones. We are sending a message to the world that Nigeria is Open for Business.”
Coronovirus is simply a group of viruses that cause diseases such as diarrhea in mammals, birds, cows, pigs and upper respiratory diseases in chicken. Transmitted to humans, the virus causes respiratory infections which are very deadly.
According to the World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are associated with common cold, pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and also affect the gut.
Current Occurrence: The disease has been found in The USA, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, France, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Macau, Philippines and the UK.
In China where it has recorded the highest cases, more than 1,975 people have been infected with about 54 dying from the virus.
Symptoms: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fever, high temperature.
Transmission: The virus is transmitted from animals to man and it’s first transmission is assumed to be from a snake at the South China seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China.
The virus is transmitted through droplets of an infected person’s cough or sneeze and also when touching contaminated surfaces such as door handles, tables and hand shakes.
Prevention According To WHO:
Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
No unprotected contact with live or farm animals.
Degree of Fatality: The coronavirus is so deadly that patients may die within two weeks of contacting the virus. A single carrier of the virus who travelled from the Middle East to South Korea infected 186 people and caused 38 deaths.
Currently there is no cure nor vaccine for the virus. Efforts are being made in China, United States and some other countries to create cure for it.
Difference Between a Coronavirus And a Normal Flu Virus:
Although Coronaviruses and flu viruses cause similar symptoms, they are genetically very different.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a disease outbreak scientist at Imperial College London explains the difference, “Flu viruses incubate very rapidly – you tend to get symptoms two to three days after being infected, but coronaviruses take much longer…
flu virus you become immune but there are lots of different viruses circulating. Coronaviruses don’t evolve in the same way as flu with lots of different strains, but equally our body doesn’t generate very good immunity.” he added.
Similar Deadly Viruses In Time Past:
The 1918 Spanish flu or H1N1 virus that killed an estimated 50-100million people.
Asian flu of 1957 that killed about 2million humans.
Hong Kong flu of 1968 with a casualty of 1million people.
The 2009 Swine flu caused by the same H1N1 virus killed about 575,000 people.
The transition chairperson in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State appointed by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has given out wheelbarrows on hire purchase to people of Nsukka LGA as their poverty alleviation project.
The event tagged Poverty Alleviation Outreach had members of the political class celebrating the project as something of high importance to the people of the Local Government Area.
In retrospect, Nigeria has been blessed with leaders who travel the world and see how real developments are carried out but when they return home, they leave the progressive thinking at the airport and rather take up programs that keep the masses enshrined in poverty and backwardness.
How wheelbarrows given on hire purchase will take citizens of Nsuka LGA out of poverty, time shall tell.