Date: Tuesday, 12 May 2020
ERITREA — A BEACON OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF COVID-19 FIGHT
By Aman Nebiat
The outbreak of COVID-19 virus at the end of 2019 quickly spread around to nearly every corner of the world undetected and by early March 2020, it started to become clearer that this virus is serious forcing governments to issue border closures and stay-at-home orders triggering a global economic downturn.
It is still too early to know the mortality rate for the coronavirus with testing kits, and other supplies such as ventilators remaining inadequate around the globe and no vaccine is insight even though there are claims here and there about a possible vaccine almost nearing completion. This is exacerbated by the millions of face masks and other medical supplies manufactured in China rejected for being defective.
News outlets speculated that Africa could get hit so hard since it is not well equipped to deal with a pandemic at this magnitude. “Under the worst-case scenario with no interventions against the virus, Africa could see 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections, the report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa said.” … one article noted as can be found in the following link:
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/africa-coronavirus-cases-hit-10-million-months-200417055006127.html. these are such catastrophic and doomsday predictions or may be wishes to cleanse Africa of its population and pave the way to further loot its resources.
Despite all these grim statistics, sinister predictions and heart wrenching numbers of fatalities in places like China, Italy, Spain and New York however, there is hope and some good news are emerging of the disease being totally eliminated in some parts of the world such as in Eritrea.
As it is customary to malign African nations in the article shown above Eritrea was not spared by the so called “Health Experts and Human Rights Activists” in their accusations of Eritrea not being well prepared or willing to fight COVID-19 due to its flagrant human rights abuses.
An article featured on VOA by Simon Marks on April 6, 2020 states that …“Health experts and human rights activists are gravely concerned that Eritrea is severely underequipped in the event of a severe coronavirus outbreak. The government has confirmed 18 COVID-19 cases to date.” The article also mentions among other dubious characters Daniela Kravetz, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea, as saying “…she did underline the dire need for medical supplies in Eritrea and the need to open the door to humanitarian aid… I don’t really think the country has the medical capacity to deal with a pandemic like this one,” https://www.voanews.com/science-health/coronavirus-outbreak/covid-19-supplies-alibaba-never-reached-eritrea
Eritrea has always proved wrong its naysayers in particular those treacherous entities with an ulterior motive to chaos, destabilization, division and all the ugliness that they represent under the guise of Human Rights and democracy and it is no different in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. Eritrea wins and they stand with an egg on their faces.
Aware of the COVID-19 outbreak and predicting its future developments, the Ministry of Health Eritrea started making preparations at the end of 2019 on how to combat the outbreak. This meant equipping all hospitals and healthcare professionals with necessary training and providing adequate PPE as well as drafting plans for the containment of the outbreak in the future. When countries all over the world started forecasting cases of COVID-19 infections and started imposing travel bans, Eritrea was on the forefront ready for the battle. On March 11, 2020, the Ministry of Health Eritrea made its first public announcement informing the public on the dangers of COVID-19 and the steps nationals at home and abroad need to take to curb the spread of the outbreak. The ministry also announced that any travelers to Eritrea who passed through China, Italy, South Korea and Iran would be quarantined as those nations were seeing a higher number of infections at the time.
On March 16, 2020, there were no cases of COVID-19 reported in Eritrea and the Ministry of Health continued its educational campaign programs through the national media outlets and declared a partial lock down inside Eritrea establishing social distancing guidelines and on March 21, the first case was recorded. By March 26, the number of cases had increased to six and the ministry announced the closure of all schools, colleges and public transportation services unless in special circumstances. That followed by guidelines established by religious institutions on church and mosque gatherings, weddings, baptisms, funerals and all other related gatherings followed by April 1, 2020 announcement of a full stay-at-home order. The number of cases finally peaked to 39 cases by April 18, 2020 and a High Level Task Force established to enforce and see through the implementation of government guidelines.
With all these developments in the background, Eritreans at home and in the diaspora rose up to the occasion mobilizing themselves voluntarily to raise funds in order to help the Ministry of Health in its fight against COVID-19. In what can be characterized as a “unique trait of Eritreans” within 3 weeks of time $13 million dollars were raised all over the world with unbelievable acts of generosity such as landlords voluntarily cancelling rent payments of tenants for up to three months, individual businesses providing free products, such as sanitary products and food supplies to the elderly, the poor and to those who live in far remote places with no easy access. With the announcement of closures of private businesses, the Government of Eritrea also announced measures to ensure workers both government and of those employed in the private sector to get their full payments during the shutdown and to not get laid off during this difficult time.
Eritrea with its limited resources and relying in active participation and contribution of its citizen, once again demonstrated its capability and competence to deal with whatever challenges come its way. The number of recovering patients have been steadily reported every week and as of the writing of this article, there remains to be only two patients with the COVID-19 virus that are receiving a much needed medical care and with God’s grace they will recover fully.
Added to this heartwarming news and Euphoria was President Isaias’s historic two day business trip to neighboring Ethiopia. A visit aimed at discussing on how to fight COVID-19 and locust control jointly among other mutual discussion of two brotherly leaders and nations while all other leaders chose to self-quarantined themselves. This is a sign of confidence and unwavering commitment to domestic and regional peace and cooperation.
This of course is a not a welcome news to all that hate Eritrea and its people, for Eritreans however, it is a proud moment etched in history.
Eritreans do not believe in Free Aid as there is no such thing called Free Aid. What Eritreans believe however is in the ideology that the hand that feeds you controls you as such Eritreans did not pay such a heavy sacrifice to liberate Eritrea only to let it be owned and controlled by greedy corporations, institutions and individuals. Eritreans are a free people with a unique experience in history who own their own destiny. As Eritreans always say “ERITREA IS NOT FOR SALE, but it is open for a mutually beneficial and respectful businesses agreements.
May God Bless Eritrea and the Whole World.
Glory to Our Martyrs.