BY PRINCE RUTHERFORD

You have banned foreign trips for your officials. You have shut down NYSC orientation camps. You have shut down schools and colleges. 

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You have partially shut down religious centres and restrained gathering to a certain number of persons. 

But you say that foreigners from countries heavily plagued by the Coronavirus can still fly into the country. Still you boast that you will protect Nigerians from the scourge, but you were yet to clinically address the citizenry on this development. 

Meanwhile countries that have the interest of their citizens at heart are working round the clock to address this situation with every resource at their disposal and getting results as the number of new cases keeps going down. 

China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital; there is not enough new cases to support them and announced a breakthrough in dealing with the situation. A103-year-old Chinese grandmother has made a full recovery from COVID-19 after being treated for 6 days in Wuhan, as several corporate giants like Apple reopens all 42 China stores. 

Doctors in India have been successful in treating Coronavirus. Combination of drugs used included: Lopinavir, Retonovir, Oseltamivir along with Chlorphenamine. They are going to suggest same medicine, globally. All 7 patients who were getting treated for at Safdarjung hospital in New Delhi have recovered. Plasma from newly recovered patients from Covid -19 can treat others infected by Covid-19. 

Researchers of the Erasmus Medical Center claimed to have found an antibody against coronavirus. Cleveland Clinic developed a COVID-19 test that gives results in hours, not days. 

Good news from South Korea, where the number of new cases is declining. 

Italy is hit hard, experts have said, only because they have the oldest population in Europe. But measures to stem the death rate amongst the older population has been fruitful. Life is coming back to normal. 

Scientists in Israel likely to announce the development of a coronavirus vaccine. Clinical tests are very successful for all the instances of trials recorded.  

In the US, 3 Maryland coronavirus patients fully recovered, able to return to everyday life. A San Diego biotech company is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with Duke University and National University of Singapore. In Tulsa County, the first positive COVID-19 case has recovered. This individual has had two negative tests, which is the indicator of recovery. There have not been new cases and the mayor has announced that there won’t be any major policy towards restriction of mobility as earlier announced.  

A network of Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research. 

Scientists in Denmark have assured that a vaccine like substance has been developed which has passed clinical trials successfully and in no time, human trials will begin. 

It seems that although faith without works is dead, works without faith is alive

These and many more are efforts being made by scientists and governments of different nations overseas to send this virus packing.  

Meanwhile not a single lab or university in Africa is mentioned carrying out research for cure. Not a single country in Africa mentioned developing a cure. Rather we hear that Africans, especially Nigerians are fasting and praying and prophesying when the scourge will end abruptly. 

And I ask, are they fasting and praying for an automatic healing for affected patients, or for an automatic disappearance of the virus, or that God should use the other parts of the world who have been labelled “unbelievers” to develop clinical cure? 

This is even as we have heard many clerics openly suggested that the sufferers of ailments caused by the virus are ungodly people and unbelievers. Yet the same unbelievers are developing the same cure the same clerics are now singing “alleluia songs” about? 

Incidentally, we have not heard that any treated patient was healed after prayers, instead of cured after receiving doses of drugs. If there have been cures, they were clinical measures carried out, not spiritual healing after charismatic prayers. 

Now the sad situation is that while the number of infected patients in the parts of the world that have suffered terribly are going down and the spread of the scourge is getting reduced, the number of cases of people that have tested positive and dying in the praying and fasting countries of Africa, are increasing. From one, the number of cases we have in Nigeria has increased radically. We are now shutting and locking down when those other countries that have been on lock down, are going back to normal life. 

Indeed, this is a case of “faith without works being dead.” 

Albeit, despite our boasts about how our prayers is what has kept the scourge from entering our shores, we still keep pressing the supposedly non praying unbelieving population to develop a cure and vaccines fast so that we don’t get left out. This is the way of a people of dead faith. 

It seems that although faith without works is dead, works without faith is alive. In Africa, especially Nigeria, we are praying and not working and we have no results. But the unbelievers as we termed them out there, are working without praying and they are getting great results which we hope to benefit from. 

We need a mindset review. There is a lot we are yet to understand about spiritual things as regards the earthly business we are set on. We need a complete mindset review. We need to start working with the rest of the world to make the world more habitable. 

We also need to stop spiritualizing every situation and by every means stop associating just any mishap with ungodliness and sin. It is sad to even say that nations heavily hit by this scourge are experiencing divine judgement and punishment for wicked acts. 

Don’t think Coronavirus is the last scourge that will plague mankind. More will come. What are we doing about it? How are we preparing to stand unshaken in the midst of such critical moments? Are we going to keep praying and fasting and boasting of our righteousness as always, while the developed world does the work, as if other nations don’t have concerns for spirituality? It’s time for a review of our mindset. 

RUTHERFORD is a political commentator and human right activist. He writes from Awka.

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