Contrary to reports which made the rounds recently that the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 had been ranked as the fourth most successful in the world, the World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, has clarified that the organization has not ranked countries on the basis of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mulombo made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the commencement of Nigeria’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccines program, held at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja on Monday, 16th August 2021.
He, however, mentioned that Nigeria had effectively put up one of the most successful responses to COVID-19, putting courageous measures in place and helping to avert the spread that was initially predicted.
The WHO representative stated, “Some independent media analysis had previously presented a ranking for top 10 countries, with Nigeria appearing on 4th position. It should be noted, however, that this is not a WHO ranking“.
He further said: “The Global Normalcy Index ranked Nigeria 4th position in the Economist’s Global Normalcy Index, out of 50 countries, which is commendable.” he explained.
He added that the government and Nigerians alike deserved commendation for working hand in hand to stop the spread of the virus.
Mulombo said the covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer: but for the foreseeable future, adding that we all must continue wearing masks, physical distance, and avoid crowds. He also used the medium to remind everyone, that most countries, including Nigeria, are currently experiencing the third wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Economist’s Normalcy Index sought to how behaviors have changed since the covid-19 pandemic, and which nations were returning to their pre-pandemic ranges using eight different yardsticks: time away from residence, retail, workplace use, public transportation, site visitors, air journeys, cinema visits, and sporting occasions.
The pre-pandemic level of activity was set at a score of 100 and the assessment covered 50 countries representing about 75 percent of the global population and 90 percent of global GDP.
But Nigeria’s 84 percent turned out to be the highest in Africa with Egypt ranked 2nd in Africa and 8th in the world with 81.1 percent.
The report stated that the worldwide normalcy index plummeted in March 2020, as many nations imposed restrictions on the movement of their residents as the pandemic set in.
Story: Ene Ken-Yawe