COVID-19 is still spreading like a wild bush fire. While some countries have reached their peak, others are still in the exponential phase. According to the World Health Organization, the key to defeating the virus lies in testing, isolation, contact tracing, and treatment. For isolation to be effective, every country needs ample coronavirus isolation centers. However, in Nigeria, that is a far cry.
To help bridge this gap, veteran Nigerian comedian, Francis Agoda (I Go Dye) donated his mansion to the Federal Government of Nigeria to be used as a coronavirus isolation center. Announcing the donation through an Instagram post, the comedian said it was a gift to humanity. The mansion is located in Benin City, Edo State. Revealing his motive for the donation, the comedians said,
“Humanity will overcome all its challenges only if we are willing to let go of the things we are not using for now for the benefit of others. In view of the increasing cases of coronavirus patients in Nigeria and the few screening centers available for now, I’m deeply worried. We will be making humanitarian sacrifices towards contributing our selfless deeds to control the escalating records of coronavirus as predicted by WHO.”
Rise to fame
The 41-year old comedian was born in Abraka, Delta State in south southern Nigeria. He started exhibiting brilliance in secondary school. As the zonal project manager of the Junior Engineering Technical Society, he designed various gadgets. This includes hovercraft, hairdryer, radio transmitter, and so on. Consequently, he won a scholarship to study structural engineering at New York University.
Agoda began his journey in the world of comedy on Delta Broadcasting Service as a mock news presenter. He was later invited to Prest Motel in Benin City to work as a standup comedian. His biggest breakthrough was when he performed at the Night of A Thousand Laughs in 2000. Consequently, he has won multiple awards. He is a United Nations Development Goal Ambassador.
More coronavirus isolation center donations
Apart from Mr. Agoda, many other Nigerians are assisting in every way they can in the fight against the pandemic. Recently, the former ex-First Lady, Patience Jonathan, handed her 200-bed luxury hotel to the federal government to be used as a coronavirus isolation center. However, the hotel believed to be worth around 2 billion naira (approx. $5.12 million) is under litigation. According to the Independent Newspaper Mrs. Jonathan said,
“This is the time we must all come together, irrespective of political differences, to assist this nation to fight the pandemic. It is a time to shun politics. I will do everything to help this great country that has also given me the opportunity to serve.”
As the number of cases grow, Nigeria is bound to need more coronavirus isolation centers. At the time of this report, the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has almost doubled in less than two weeks. The current figure now stands at 1,532 cases with 44 deaths. With the easing of lockdown by the president, many are skeptical that the worst may come sooner.