The unfolding coronavirus crisis has elements of the surreal. Consider this.
** ISIS has issued travel advice to its members: terrorists should avoid Europe, the new epicentre of the virus, according to the World Health Organisation. The brutal extremist group’s Al Naba newsletter warned that the “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it”.
** Africans accuse Europeans of “coronising” the continent. After news that two French nationals in Senegal had tested positive for the virus, the Senegalese daily L’evidence asked: “slave trade, economic colonisation, epidemiological colonisation?” Rewmi, another Senegalese daily, said: “Another contaminated Frenchman.”
In a reference to the return from Italy to Burkina Faso, a former French colony, of two coronavirus-infected people, the Burkina Faso newspaper Le Pays wrote: “If a dozen countries on the black continent have confirmed cases here and there, the fact remains that the cases revealed are, for the most part, those of European travellers travelling to the African continent.”
And Rufaro Samanga, a South African commentator on the African news platform OkayAfrica, said African countries could continue to cope with the virus “so long as we keep the rest of the world out”.