SECTIONS

It is important to unmask truth behind Covid-19 global rampage

Accusations and counter-accusations have started flying fast and furious between the East and West. Some western countries believe China is to blame for the pain they are going through as coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) continues to wreak unprecedented upheaval across the globe.

US President Donald Trump, for instance, has claimed he has evidence that the coronavirus emanated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and indicated that he might demand compensation from China. In fact, some US citizens are already in court pushing for the same from the Asian giant.

Bild, a German newspaper, has accused China of being the cause of the coronavirus outbreak and demanded €150 billion (nearly Sh18 trillion) in reparations for Germany. A UK newspaper poll also shows ‘majority’ of citizens there want China to pay over the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, Five Eyes security alliance, which comprise US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand intelligence teams have laid the blame over the disease’s spread at Beijing’s door, saying the communist regime “outwardly downplayed the outbreak on the world stage while secretly scrambling to bury all traces of the disease”.

And just like Trump, according to a story published by the UK’s Daily Mail, the investigators claim they have evidence the virus spawned from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, although part of the Five Eyes team disagrees.

China, predictably, is on the defensive and sees these claims as a well-choreographed attempt by the West, spearheaded by the US, to drag its name through mud. While China and the US have their supremacy wars and Trump would definitely want to use an opportunity like this to hit his Chinese counterpart below the belt, it is defeatist for China to view the anger coming out of various world capitals as being fuelled by America.

The truth is, the entire world wants nothing but the truth on this matter.

In fact, weeks before Trump made the allegations now seen by China as being outrageous, The Standard had published two opinion articles by Kenyans raising these very issues.

In the first one on April 2, Journalism lecturer, Dr Michael Ndonye, blamed the spread of the contagion on China, WHO and the US. He accused the WHO of delaying to declare the novel coronavirus a pandemic, China for initially keeping information on the disease outbreak under wraps and Trump for engaging in a war of words with China instead of tackling the pandemic.

In the second article on April 8, Mr Nathaniel Akadima asked China to write off Kenya’s debt due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19. He wrote: “China bears the greatest responsibility over the outbreak for its failure to rein in the illegal wildlife trade, exposing humanity to untold perils”.

This shows that important questions are being asked, and not only by citizens of Chinese’ Western ‘enemies’ but also by those from its friendly countries such as Kenya. This matter cannot be swept under the carpet. It cannot be dismissed as just another Trump-China supremacy ‘war’.

Only fools, and they are in short supply globally, can fail to question why and how this virus gained a life of its own and spread around the world like wildfire, killing, by yesterday, more than 240,000 people, and infecting more 2.4 million others.

Therefore, thorough and unbiased investigations must be conducted. If the virus was cooked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology cauldron, this must be made public. If China or WHO dropped the ball and therefore gave it momentum to roll around the world flattening lives and livehoods, this must be made public and the culprits made to pay the price.

Defeat virus

If China warned world leaders about the seriousness of the disease on time but the leaders failed to take it with the seriousness it deserves, action must be taken against them. This will teach our leaders to be proactive, transparent and accountable next time a lethal disease like Covid-19 rears its ugly head.

Above all, however, important lessons must be drawn from this pandemic to avoid plunging the world into a similar catastrophe in future.

All said and done, it is too early, if not ill-advised, to demand for reparations from China now. Those doing so are clearly putting the cart before the horse. They seem to have already concluded that China recklessly unleashed the virus to the world, which so far can’t be proven. In addition, they are worried about compensation even before the coronavirus is vanquished. The wise thing to do now is to direct our energies towards defeating the virus and ask the questions later. Crossing swords will give our common enemy room to do more damage.

Covid 19 Time Series

 

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WHO Covid-19