Somalilandsun: As the number of coronavirus infections spirals out of control, the U.S. and countries around the world have reported major shortages of ventilators, respirators, test kits, surgical masks, and other essential health equipment for dealing with the pandemic.
Rather than United States utilizing its World power financial and scientific might to address the issue of CODIV-19 continued spread globally or within its own boundaries , President Donald Trump is bent on passing blame to the others with terming the pandemic as the CHINESE VIRUS.
In the meantime China where the virus first attacked it’s Wuhan province with devastating effects has managed to not only manage to control infection with current reports of zero local infections but has became the main source of testing kits support to the rest of the world.
Read AS THE U.S. BLAMES CHINA FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, THE REST OF THE WORLD ASKS CHINA FOR HELP
As the so called developed world moves sluggishly and ineptidily in response to the virus which has and is devastating many western countries and the US , COVID-19 has been relatively slow to reach Africa but has now spread to at least 43 of the continent’s 54 countries, with more than 1,100 cases confirmed. In response many African countries are imposing restrictions.
Though the affected African Countries have imposed strict preventive measures modelled on the successful Chinese one of preventing spread and containing the virus through unprecedented lockdowns testing and protective tools remain scarce.
Just the other day, Africa received .4 million face masks, 1.08 million testing kits, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 protective face shields, donated to the continent by the Jack Ma Foundation.
An Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight from Guangzhou, China containing more than 6 million medical items arrived Sunday in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The African Union already received 2,000 test kits from the Chinese government and is expecting another 10,000 of them along with other crucial medical supplies needed to fight the spread of Covid-19 across the continent.
The distribution of the medical equipment donated is centralised by the African Union’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Ethiopia.
Jack Ma, Chinese tech billionaire and co-founder of the Alibaba online shopping platform, promised to donate, via his foundations, 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective suits to each of the 54 African states.
“We cannot assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis. The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” he said in a statement.
The supplies from Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, will be distributed to African countries in need of supplies to battle the spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Ma has sent similar shipments of medical supplies to countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.
While the donation was handed over to the African Union-AU , distribution to African Countries is tasked to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is tasked with apportioning and delivering to needy countries through Ethiopian Airlines.
While receiving the donation at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa last week the Ethiopian Prime Minister pledged to distribute the supplies to other countries in Africa of which a number of deliveries have so far been made.
That being So the main question is about the viability of Somaliland accessing a share of the Chinese donated kits though the country is yet to report any cases of Corona Virus infections but has out in place various preventive guidelines like banning flights from affected countries, closing all educational institutions, banning public functions like sports, workshops, weddings etc and urging social distancing.
With the AU indicating that the current and future COVID-19 supplies donations shall be distributed among its 54 member states worries in Somaliland relating to its not being among the 54 since it is unrecognised internationally as a sovereign nation three decades after withdrawing from its 1960 voluntary later turned fateful union with Somalia.
With the political standoff between the two and seemingly obvious that Somalia recognized by the AU shall definitely be a beneficiary, on the premise that it shall in turn avail Somaliland it’s slice , this arrangement is a bitter pill for Somalilanders to swallow.
Owing to the urgent imperatives of ensuring that Somaliland has the capacity to respond to Corona Virus through, testing, treating and protecting medical staff it is hoped that the Ethiopian PM shall be prudent and sent Somaliland”s share of the Chinese donated Covid-19 kits directly to Hargeisa where Ethiopian Airlines operates two daily flights.
It is hoped that PM Abiy who is well versed with the politics of the region shall act contrary to the Trump Iran sanctions and ensure that innocent citizens of Somaliland do not succumb ,ALLAH forbid, to the virus for lack of relevant kits.