‘Perception on COVID-19 testing in Oyo poor’

DESPITE community transmission of coronavirus in Nigeria and calls by experts for increased testing, community reception for COVID-19 test in Oyo State has remained poor.

Dr Yemi Ojo, Press liaison officer, Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation pillar of Oyo State Emergency Operation Centre, said the poor perception of COVID-19 testing cuts across all social classes.

According to her, even educated people that are actually aware of coronavirus infection are not ready to get tested because of many misconceptions.

Dr Ojo added, “a lot of people do not want to go for testing because they feel that coronavirus is not real; they think that it is a trap by government to just pick people up and tell them that they are positive for the infection.

“Some because of stigmatisation don’t want to be tested whether by health workers at home or even at the Adamasingba walk-in or drive-through test centre.

“Some don’t want to hear that there are health workers around them. They push them away because they feel they can bring coronavirus to them.”

Ojo, a public health expert declared that “among the uneducated people if I am to rate the level of perception, it will be 6 to 7 and among the educated, it is like 4.”

The public expert urged increased support from traditional and community leaders in reducing the wrong perception on COVID-19.

She, however, urged individuals to maintain preventive measures to avoid the infection by regularly washing their hands with soap and water, avoid crowded places like the market and the bank and wear facemasks regularly to reduce its transmission.

“We realize that a lot of people in the state just live normally, but they should ensure that they use their face masks to reduce transmission,” she added.

 

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