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Support Africa with test kits, funds, Jonathan urges stronger economies, WHO, others

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FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has urged stronger economies and international agencies like the World Health Organisation, WHO, to support the efforts of African nations towards procuring necessary equipment and kits to enable them conduct aggressive testing that would make the current lock down imposed on cities more productive.

The former President also appealed to international financing and donor agencies as well as creditor nations to consider granting economic palliatives including debt relief or placing moratorium on repayments to help weaker nations cope with the economic difficulties brought upon them by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jonathan, according a statement by by his Media Adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze,  stated this while speaking as a panelist in an international web-based conference organised by the Universal Peace Federation, UPF, with the theme: ‘Governance Challenges in the Era of the Coronavirus Pandemic.’

The other panelists included Mr. Stephen Harper, former Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Sang Hyun Yoon, South Korean parliamentarian and Dr. Thomas Walsh, UPF Chairman.

The former President also called for greater synergy among different levels of government to ensure that whatever measures are adopted in dealing with the pandemic will achieve the desired result. He recalled that when Ebola hit Nigeria and some other African countries in 2014 under his presidency, Nigeria was able to effectively contain the spread by adopting proactive measures that ensured effective collaboration between states and the Federal Government as well as mobilized support from  the civil society, private sector and the international community.

Speaking on the imperative of aggressive testing on the African continent, he said: “It is true that many African nations are observing lockdown of cities and maintaining isolation centres, but if there is no effective testing, locking down populations as currently obtainable in many African countries may not be very effective. This is because people within the communities will continue to spread the virus even without knowing.”

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