Filomena was the second woman to graduate in journalism in Equatorial Guinea. She has worked as a journalist on RTVGE. She was one of the beneficiaries of a scholarship from the Learn Africa programme, thanks to which she studied a Master’s degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the University of Huelva. She currently works at the University of Equatorial Guinea.
I thought the world was big, seeing the distances between continents. That we human beings were different, seeing the social differences; that some were more torturers than others, seeing the weakness of the disadvantaged. And yet, a virus put us on the same scale.
It all seemed to be a “bedtime story”, as we usually say when we refer to something we don’t care much about; but without realizing it, we saw how the Covid 19 left Wuhan to visit the world. Without separating continents, races, executioners and the underprivileged; hitting everyone in the same way.
In my country, as of 6 April, 854 tests have been carried out; 16 have been confirmed, 1 has been treated and 0 have died, while 179 people are still in quarantine. Diagnostics are carried out through the Capital’s Research and Epidemiology Laboratory, located in a town called Baney. This laboratory has been certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for quality control of the detection of COVID 19 and is supported by the Swiss Institute of Tropical Medicine.
The Equatoguinean Government has taken a series of measures and actions to prevent, contain and combat the spread of the virus on the national territory. A 30-day health alert has been declared, which provides for the temporary closure of all land, sea and air borders, with the exception of ships and aircraft transporting goods, materials and equipment.
All diplomatic and consular services accredited abroad have also been prohibited from issuing visas to enter the country. Equatoguineans are not allowed to travel abroad except for major reasons. There are also restrictions on travel within the national territory.
All travellers from affected countries, whether nationals or expatriates, whether or not they present symptoms on arrival, are placed in quarantine for 14 days.
I live in the capital, I work at the university, exceptionally and with a reduced schedule of minimum services for each area so that the university can continue to function. My youngest son lives in a boarding school where he is confined until the situation normalizes. All academic activities (schools and universities) are paralysed, Internet access is limited so that one can only receive or give classes in person, which means that classes are literally suspended.
Although the health situation in my country is not the best, the Coronavirus seems to be under control and the population is highly sensitised and follows the recommendations concerning hand washing, the use of masks and there is little life on the streets.
Translated by Paola Fourcaud