Chuks Nwanne is a journalist with the Guardian. In the paragraphs that follow, he says Nigeria is definitely handling the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak currently ravaging the planet, differently.
His piece is reproduced below, unedited:
"When Nigeria's Minister of Health tells you the country is ready to fight Coronavirus, it's not a joke. Indeed, Nigeria is ready. If there's anywhere I have fears, it's not Nigeria, not even China, which is still battling the virus head-on; I fear for Europe.
"I left Berlin, Germany yesterday, had a stopover at Istanbul Airport, before connecting to Lagos. All through that journey of about 11 hours altogether, nobody stopped anybody to check for anything; people freely moved in and out of airports, in and out of flights; individuals only cared for themselves by wearing masks.
"In fact, the Turkish Airlines staff that boarded us to Lagos had his mask on, but no one checked anybody! However, most flights going to Italy and other cities were cancelled for fear of the deadly virus. Yet, people were allowed to move in and out freely.
"As soon as the plane got to cruise level, the cabin crew handed all passengers a form from the Federal Ministry of Health, which mandates every passenger to give their health info. In fact, a certain Nigerian lady, who happens to be a health worker, took time to explain the virus to passengers and how to take precautionary measures. In the end, she handed sanitisers to those who needed them.
"Upon arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, the health officers picked the forms one after another, asked few questions and screened every passenger; it doesn't matter who you are. In some cases, few were not allowed in, like the lady puts it, "oga, your temperature is too high, we can't allow you to go in, just have your seat there."
"For those who were allowed in, your hands must be sanitised for free.
"I felt so proud about Nigeria, particularly the Environmental Health Office, who went through the pains of screening every single passenger that landed in Lagos this night. Among them were Igbos, Hausas, Yoruba... People from different ethic groups, working in harmony to save their nation.
"These are some of the things that make me believe this country will rise again, if only we can put aside hate and tribalism. Nigeria, I hail thee. Meanwhile, I'm back."