By Laraba MUREY
Oxfam Nigeria has announced that women have been 1.4 times more likely to drop out of the labour force than men because of the pandemic.
In a report it published last Thursday on behalf of the People’s Vaccine Alliance as the world marks two years since the World Health Organisation declared the pandemic, Oxfam attributed the large number of deaths to lack of testing and inadequate reporting of deaths as a result of COVID-19 infection to be unreported, especially in the poorest countries.
The figure, according to Oxfam, shatters perceptions that Omicron’s milder illness means the pandemic is coming to an end, as the more contagious variant tears through unvaccinated populations.
According to the report, while the pandemic has been devastating for rich countries, the world’s poorest countries like Nigeria have been hardest hit with its effects, with women and children bearing a disproportionate burden.
It added that on a per-capita basis, deaths in low and lower-middle-income countries are 31% higher than in high-income countries.
Oxfam’s calculation also indicates that three million COVID-19 deaths have occurred in three months since the Omicron variant emerged.
The report also outlines that: Every minute, four children around the world lose a parent or caregiver to Covid.
Women are reported to have been 1.4 times more likely to drop out of the labour force than men because of the pandemic.
Also, 99 percent of humanity is worse off because of COVID-19, 160 million people have been pushed into poverty, and 137 million people have lost their jobs.
Oxfam Country Director, Dr. Vincent Ahonsi, said, “The government needs to actively bridge the inequality gap between the rich and the poor by investing more in healthcare, agriculture and education; reviewing its tax policies in favour of the less privileged and more importantly, taking advantage of the COVID-related offers of debt relief to get its current debt service suspended, and negotiate a comprehensive cancellation of its overall debt as soon as possible.”