Countries implementing lock-down and limiting movements should provide “food and life essentials during the crisis,” Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned.

He argued today, 2 April 2020, that asking people to stay home and shutting down population movement to limit transmission of Covid-19 can have unintended negative consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable.

His views came on the heels of the announcement that India is providing $24Bn stimulus package (about N8.6 trillion) to support her vulnerable population during the Covid-19 crisis.

A breakdown of the stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi include $800m for free food rations, cash transfers to 204 million poor women, and free cooking gas for 80 million households.

Dr. Tedros said he recognized that many developing countries would struggle to implement social welfare programmes of this nature at this time.

According to him, it will be nice if international lenders will seize the opportunity to broaden and expedite agreements on debt relief to enable these countries “care for their people and avoid economic collapse.”

In corroboration of the statement, it will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria had said in a broadcast to his people that the Coronavirus has presented his country with both “a health emergency and an economic crisis.”

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