Obasanjo, ex-African leaders demand action against COVID-19 spread

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 11 other African leaders on Tuesday called on the  African Union, United Nations and  World Bank   to help combat the spread of coronavirus in Africa.

They   advised  all African  leaders  to immediately  shut their borders to prevent  further spread of COVID-19  on the continent.

Obasanjo,  ex-Botswana President Festus Mogae and  former Ethiopian  Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn  said this in a jointly signed statement.

The  four-paragraph statement titled ‘Appeal for preparations for Africa to confront the onslaught of COVID-19’ was  released by   Obasanjo’s  media aide,  Kehinde Akinyemi, on Tuesday.

The statement read,  “In the almost four months of the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen the mitigation effect or otherwise by the preparatory and preventive actions made by different nations and international organisations to combat the killer virus.

“The results have been related to  the seriousness of preparations and preventive measures taken,  including the level of healthcare measures and delivery.

“The epidemiological progression in already affected areas has indicated that the worst case  has  yet to occur in Africa.

“Taking into account the weak healthcare bases in Africa, the conurbation and the communal living of our people, particularly in ghettos and poverty-stricken areas of our cities, the outbreak of COVID-19 in these areas of African communities and cities will be a monumental disaster.

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“Serious measures have to be taken for containment and for addressing any national epidemic.

“We, as concerned African leaders, note the efforts that African governments are making within their limited resources to deal with this global challenge.

“We, however, appeal to leaders and  the elite at national, regional and continental levels and to international organisations and foundations to draw up a concrete, effective, and continental emergency plan to combat COVID-19 onslaught at its crescendo in Africa which will be soon. With porous borders all over Africa.”

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