World grapples with biggest humanity crisis in a century

Friday, April 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Kenya received 100,000 face masks from the Jack Ma Foundation. Kenya has benefited from the donation from the Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. The masks, together with 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective gear landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on March 24 and received by Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem (left), KAA Staff Alex Gitari (centre) and the Director of Public Health Dr Patrick Amoth (right). Photo/PD/KENNA CLAUDE

With more than 900,000 confirmed cases in over 200 countries, the Covid-19 pandemic has united the human race, proving—once again—that the world is a global village.

At no time in recent history has humanity been bound in fear and uncertainty: rich and poor and the high and mighty are for the first time facing one common problem and the solution seems to have eluded everybody.

Although the deadly virus originated from Wuhan in China, it has become a global issue with countries such as United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain facing a lockdown. 

 US leads the table with more infections in a table that offers a grim reality of the situation as it is.

More that 200,000 confirmed cases with most of it recorded in the last five days followed by Italy and Spain. China which reported the first case of the epidemic is fourth in the list. 

By yesterday, with more that 48,000 deaths reported with US, slowly turning to be the epicentre of the virus has seen 5,112 deaths surpassing China. 

Globally, more than 195, 000 people are known to have recovered from the disease whose symptoms include fever, cough, tiredness and difficulty in breathing, in severe cases. 

Despite fear, panic and gloom, the Covid-19 has brought out the positive aspects of people with Chinese richest man Jack Ma leading the way in terms of donations to various countries ravaged by the virus. 


Jack Ma has also extended his hand by making donations worth millions of dollars to African countries and other nations across the globe. Jack Ma is also supporting the US and Europe which is worst hit globally. 

The billionaire donated 5.4 million masks, 1.08 million testing kits, 40,000 protective suits and 60,000 protective masks to help Africa combat Covid-19. A plane carrying the donation landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last Sunday.

The cargo was from the Jack Ma Foundation after the Chinese offered to support all the 54 African countries manage the crisis that has led to most countries declaring lockdown to prevent the spread of the pandemic that is in more than 25 countries on the continent.

“The virus started in China, but the pandemic can no longer be resolved by any individual country,” Jack Ma said. 

The Chinese government has also dispatched specialist doctors and nurses to Italy after taming the virus back home. 

 During his state of the nation address last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta described Covid-19 as an unprecedented global health crisis while Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, in his Sunday briefing, underscored the fact that the virus has put all nations in a dilemma.

President Kenyatta has cautioned that the greatest enemy in the fight against Covid-19 is not the virus itself, but “fears, rumours and stigma”.

“Focus should shift to sensitisation campaigns at the grassroots including in ward levels and villages to ensure residents understand how to prevent this coronavirus spread,” said Kenyatta.

“The US has said that it is facing a shortage of essential materials and UK is facing the same challenges. In fact, no country in the world is currently in a position to handle the disease.

Therefore, there is a likelihood that it can and could overrun our facilities here and we must be prepared…” said Kagwe. 

Locally, more than 100 people have so far tested positive for Covid-19 with the government announcing mass testing of 2,050 persons who have been quarantined at the 14 designated centres.

The government has warned of more stringent measures if Kenyans continue flouting curfew imposed one week ago. 

Heir to the Throne

From Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Oscar winner Tom Hanks and his wife, actress and singer Rita Wilson—both 63 - to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, coronavirus has brought both the rich and the poor together. 

Although Arteta has fully recovered, Turkey football legend and 2002 World Cup hero, Rustu Recber was yesterday battling for his life in hospital with doctors describing his condition as “critical period” Other celebrities that have tested positive for coronavirus include British actor Idris Elba, famous opera singer Placido  Domingo, 79, and four-time ward winning playwright Terrence McNally who died from Covid-19 complications last week aged 81. 

The virus also claimed the life of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz who died last week at 76 years.

Cameroon music icon and saxophonist Manu Dibango, 86, also succumbed to the deadly virus in Paris, France last week. 

The global death toll for the deadly virus which originated from Wuhan, China yesterday stood at 34, 000 with Italy and Spain leading at 10, 779 and 6, 803 respectively.

At the same time, US is now leading with over 143, 000 confirmed cases followed by Italy at 97, 689. 

In his latest address, US President Donald Trump conceded that deaths could reach 100, 000 in his country adding that if it can stay below that number “we would have done a very good job”—signaling the gravity of the matter. 

Humanitarian organisations

The virus has shown that it knows no borders and it is because of this reason that world leaders, humanitarian organisations and financial institutions such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank are working round the clock to stem the spread of the disease and its effects on the economy. 

The World Bank has given the Kenyan government Sh6.1 billion to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has also set aside 150 billion dollars to help developing countries fight and recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

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