Editorial:

coronavirus

How certain is Imo’s claim of no COVID-19 victim without testing centres

The dreaded coronavirus pandemic is one issue that has caused sleepless nights to our leaders. The reason is quite obvious given that the protection of life and properties is one of their primary responsibilities. No governor or leader worth the name would risk the wastage of precious human assets through a combatable ailment if all precautions are observed that is.

The Imo State government has performed its fair share of roles in the effort to stem the spread of the dreaded virus. It has set up a COVID-19 Committee; it has set up isolation centres in 6 places in the state as well as provided some palliatives. Its information and awareness creation machinery has been up and doing.

What are not yet in existence are the testing centres where people can go and confirm their status. In the absence of a testing centre it becomes difficult to actually determine the true status of the state as to the existence or not of a possible case of coronavirus. This is the reason the government’s claim that it is yet to record any case cannot be totally correct.

Many people are interested in testing their status as it is done in other states like Lagos but they cannot find any place. The government on its path has been basking in the euphoria that it has no case and has remained silent on the issue of testing centres. This situation many people have described as deceptive, dangerous and misleading.

The danger lies in the fact that it is reported that people could be incubating the ailment silently without the consciousness that they have it. This makes the testing centre very important. We are encouraging the government to set up this as quickly as possible and create the necessary awareness for people to take advantage of it.

The existence of the isolation centres should have come along with the testing centres and testing kits. Expectedly, it is the result of the test centres that will generate the patients that will be isolated. Without this it is not safe to assume that the state is free of the virus.

Of the South East states Imo appears to be the only state without the existence of the ailment. Abia has recorded two incidents. Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi have recorded cases each and these states surround Imo. So also is the neighbouring Rivers that has recorded two cases.

It is yet to be known on what premises that the government is hinging their confidence that Imo is yet to record any case. Policing the boundaries linking other states are not reliable because interstate movement has been as free as normal. Motorists find other routes outside the major routes to the states.

Besides following other routes, other road users compromise the checkpoints to find their way into the state and this increases the risk of attracting the disease. Edge Express therefore calls on the government to take the appropriate steps to restore and reinforce the confidence of its citizens over its fight to stem the spread of the disease. We are raising the alarm because majority of Imo people are not in compliance with all the rules concerning checking the spread. A stitch in time saves nine.

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