By Ijendu Iheaka
Aba (Abia State) Aug. 19, 2020 Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has inaugurated a sensitisation committee in Aba South Local Government Area to drive awareness for people at the grassroots not to shy away from testing for COVID-19.
The 19-member committee has Chief J.C. Mbonu, and Mrs Ugonma Anosike, as Chairman and Secretary respectively.
Others are Eze Ibe Enyiazu, Mrs Akudo Akpoaha, Mr David Ugboaja, Mrs Uloma Ikpeazu, Mrs Lilian Ezekiel, Mrs Onyinyechi Nwigwe, Mr Arthur Ajuzieogu and Dr Eze Adindu.
Also included are Dr Adaugo Ekeoma, Dr Kate Obiechina, Mr Ama Aba, Chief Sunday Onyembi, Mr Chijioke Ibenji and representatives of the Nigerian Police, Directorate of State Security and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Inaugurating the committee on Wednesday at the council headquarters, Ikpeazu urged the members of the committee to take COVID-19 sensitisation message to all communities in the local government.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Chief Chris Ezem, said that the COVID-19 testing would be extended to all the local government councils in Abia.
He urged residents in the state to observe safety protocols and submit to COVID-19 tests to stop community transmission of the virus.
Ikpeazu said that the state government would no longer condone the flouting of the directive of not more than 50 people during burials and wedding ceremonies.
Also speaking at the event, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, said that the observance of the safety protocols of COVID-19 and submitting for tests in communities would reduce community transmissions.
He warned the people against misleading others that Coronavirus and malaria were the same.
Osuji advised residents to seek treatment at reputable hospitals when ill and stop patronising patent medicine stores.
The state Epidemiologist, Mrs Peace Nwaogwugwu, said that since the index case was recorded in Abia the state had been fighting and winning the battle against the disease.
She said that the Abia government was doing an active case search through its community testing programme which required everybody’s cooperation to dislodge the virus.
The epidemiologist said that the “three drugs for COVID-19” were observing personal hygiene, physical distancing and use of face masks, through which people would defeat the pandemic.
She urged all Abia residents to be responsible and to submit to testing to stop the disease from spreading in the state.
Chief Okeiyi Kalu, the Information Commissioner, said that the state was determined to contain the spread of the disease, hence all the efforts made to keep people safe.
He said that the police had been directed in Abia to arrest and prosecute residents who flouted the use of face masks directive and tasked everyone to adhere to the guidelines in order to be safe.