By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah |
The Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has raised the alarm that the number of people testing positive for and dying as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in his state had been on the increase.
Senator Uzodimma disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, his administration had put a couple of measures in place, including the use of town criers, to help with risk communication and community engagement with the people on the spread of the disease.
He said he had already introduced sanctions for people refusing to wear a face mask in compliance with the Presidential Task Force (PTF)
protocols on COVID-19, adding that the state already had in place a task force on the spread of the virus and that measures were being taken to reduce the spread of the disease and ensure the safety of all citizens.
He said “The number of people testing positive and dying is on the increase, state government alone cannot as a matter of honesty summon the capacity and resources to address this menace. So we also pleaded and Mr. President has promised that he will intervene.
“Three months ago we commissioned Risk Communication center in Owerri for the purposes of creating awareness and getting our people to know the danger inherent in being careless and contacting this pandemic.
“We have gone further, we did a summit with all the traditional rulers and as I speak to you, in Imo State, all the community leaders have engaged town criers.
“Few days ago I issued an Executive Order to make not wearing mask a crime in Imo State. So, any moment from now, we will begin to arrest people refusing to wear mask, I have given a fourteen day ultimatum for all coming into Imo State to wear their face mask and comply with NCDC protocol or be arrested and tried.
“I have created six mobile courts to handle that. We don’t joke. It is better we offend people than to allow this disease to continue to spread in Imo State.
“I have in place a Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by Prof. Maurice Iwu, the former Chairman of INEC and they have done well. We have in place four isolation centres, fully equipped and the government partnering with the private sector has also equipped an additional isolation centre at the University Teaching Hospital Orlu.
“But the number is growing daily and those testing positive are also on the increase so I think we need to prepare more grounds; build more isolation centres, get more medications, get oxygen and also try to have respiratory support equipment for those who have difficulty in breathing after they have been infected”, he said.
The governor lamented that some Nigerians are very stubborn towards complying with non-pharmaceutical protocols thus, the need to
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