Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, countries have put in place preventive measures to curtail the pandemic. Nigeria’s fire-brigade response to the pandemic has added to existing media slugs.

As a centre of commerce and the nation's business cynosure, Lagos in the past few weeks recorded the first case of the deadly disease and it remains the most influx as indicated by index, then followed by the sister states to the far few northern states.

The actions the pandemic has commanded in Nigeria range from a ban on some Covid-19 high index countries, closure of schools, public gatherings, religious congregations (in some state) to the expansion of isolation centres. Albeit these, the large markets where people of the different calibre of different homes are found remained opened.

Should this imported virus spread beyond our fences, who then sensitive the vulnerable Almajiris who are a huge burden to the north at large and the less privileged Internally Displaced Persons, who are victims of societal jeopardy?

Media in their social responsibility role are doing a lot of fights since the outbreak of the disease, even though the ill-fated 'fake news' has taken the centre stage. However, there is a need to televise the information to the remote segments of society.

The preaching of the dethroned Emir Sanusi II is now at stake. Repeatedly on several occasions, he has advocated for the proper education for the Almajiris of the north. Had illiteracy not cob-webbed their reading ability, they could have read precautions either on pamphlets, television, billboards and other handy platforms.

Their population alone if infected could fill up the isolation centres in the whole northern states.

For those forced out of their homes (IDPs) as a result of ancient-like insurgency in the country, they may have access to information, relate and act upon them; but the feat to build more isolation centres in IDPs camps should be part of the government priority henceforth.

Provision of hand sanitisers to these sites is as well paramount. Even though they are incidentally quarantined before the arrival of Covid-19, the government must revisit how infected persons among them can be isolated separately.

More intriguing is the question surrounding the future of Naira notes. Could the outbreak of this virus be a period to bid farewell to the era of cash transactions? In recent times, the banking system has worn a new outlook by migrating online. Customers now need not walk down to their various banks to make the transaction, only a tap on the screen will help save the stress.

This has become so alarming following the media non-hyperbolic reports that revealed that the virus can be easily spread through the handling of cash if the notes have amassed a fluid of an infected. Therefore, the banking online interface may mount to its zenith with the outbreak of the pandemic.

Lest we forget, the fate and safety of the Almajiris and IDPs depend not only on the media coverage of the virus but also requires the Biblical Samaritan role of the Non-Governmental Organisations by creating more awareness and some mitigating products that have so far advised by the experts.

Similarly, mini markets instead of the large suburb markets can be an option pending the stay of the virus.

Mohammed Yakubu, a final year student of Mass Communication Department, IBB University, Lapai, Niger State

 

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