A heated debate has been raging online over a potential coronavirus vaccine and controversial suggestions that it should be tried on Africans first.
For starters, this was proposed by two French doctors during a TV programme last week creating an online stirl through hashtag #AfricansAreNotLabRats on Twitter.
However, with Africans being Africans, one country has already pledged to “sacrifice” to take part in the testing of any future vaccine against COVID-19.
According to a top health official in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), identified as Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the country has been chosen to conduct the tests and did not shy away to state that they offered better conditions for testing the vaccine.
“At some point, COVID-19 will be uncontrollable. The only way to control it will be a vaccine, just like Ebola,” Muyembe, who is also the head of the country’s taskforce against the pandemic, said.
His remarks not only fueled the discourse of racism and neo-colonialism in the continent but also whether Africans are their own enemies.
How many developed countries would be so willing to act as guinea pigs in clinical trials whose side effects are unknown? Are Africans seen as people of a lesser god? Why would a nation be so willing to “sacrifice” her citizenry without considering the repercussions? Many posed.
Even if cases are much lower in Africa vis-a-vis other regions, coupled with predictions that once the pandemic gets out of hand in the continent would cause more damage than in other areas, we cannot allow such reasons to cloud our judgement and give in to such suggestions too easily.
It is a no-brainer that a vaccine is best tested at the epicentre of a disease. Africa is clearly not anywhere near to an epicentre of COVID-19!
But with all said and done, our leaders are the Achilles heel and when the big bucks come into question, we all know what will happen.
That aside, here are top stories making headlines today on Opera News:
CS’s Security, 2 KDF Soldiers Arrested Partying as Police Raid Bar
A Police Corporal attached to a Cabinet Secretary, a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detective and two Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers were among twelve people arrested when police raided a Kangundo Road bar in Nairobi for defying the nationwide curfew on the night of Sunday, April 5.
The officers were taken to Buru Buru Police Station and were also accused of being drunk and disorderly.
Quarantined Passengers Protest 14-day Extension
Passengers who were put in mandatory quarantine at the Pride Inn Hotel in Westlands have condemned the decision to extend their isolation for two more weeks.
In a joint letter to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, they instead want the Covid-19 Emergency Response Committee to allow them to go home.
Kisumu Residents Defy Curfew to ‘Expel’ Evil Spirits
The Luo community believes that certain diseases are brought by evil spirits.
They have devised ways of exorcising the evil spirits known as Nyawawa. ‘Nyawawa are believed to be spirits of people who died in Lake Victoria.
The government had predicted that the positive cases of the COVID-19 in the first week of April would shoot to 1000. We are just a couple of days away and the numbers are significantly lower at 142. Does this mean that the rate of infections in the country is much less than anticipated or was it a calculated move by the authorities to alarm Kenyans over a full-blown crisis if their measures are violated?