Imo engages town criers to fight COVID-19

• To arrest face mask use violators

The Imo State government has engaged the services of town criers to communicate to its people the risks of non-adherence to the prescribed protocols to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

This followed what the state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, referred to as the “stubborn” refusal of citizens comply with the measures put in place to tackle the pandemic.

Speaking to correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Monday, he said the government has also made the use of face mandatory and any violators will be prosecuted.

While lamenting that some Nigerians are very stubborn towards complying with non-pharmaceutical protocols he stated:

“The only effective cure we have seen now is when you are able to test and it is detected early and you take steps to change your hygiene system and comply with the protocols.

“It’s not easy honestly because, knowing the attitude of our people, they are so stubborn, you continue to plead with them to see reason with you because you can only be stubborn if you are alive; we’ve seen how people are dying every day, in everywhere, even in Imo State because of this ugly monster called COVID-19.

“So, our people are invited through this medium to please respect and comply with NCDC protocols for this COVID-19 so that at least we will be alive. If life is supposed to be paid for, many of us will not be able to pay the price but God gave it to us freely so we should do our best in appreciation, to also understand the value of life and help the government to also help our people.”

Uzodinma regretted that the virus is killing more people in the state and requested the federal government’s intervention to acquire necessary facilities to contain the disease.

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While noting the State has put in place a Task Force on COVID-19 to oversee the response effort, he added: “A 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 a 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.”






Imo engages town criers to fight COVID-19

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