Has Imo embraced COVID-19?

Maurice Iwu

It will be recalled that Imo was one of the last of the states in the South East region to be inflicted with the incident of the COVID-19 pandemic. What seemed a clean record then has since been erased by the increasing incidents which has recorded about two deaths. As at moment there are more than two hundred cases of Coronavirus in the state, majority of which reports say are self-isolating.

The rising cases of the dreaded disease in the state coupled with all other circumstances leave so much concern especially in an environment where people are hungry, medication cost so high and government ill equipped to cope with existing situation. Worst, there is no known cure and we are only grappling with the situation by a trial and error approach. There is indeed increasing worries among people reviewing the current situations.

A recent report from the federal government angle indicates that over 80% of the COVID-19 cases are in self-isolation and the rest in isolation centres. Imo State alone has recorded over 240 cases with many in isolation. In the State House of Assembly which has been shut down, some of the legislators who contracted the ailment are reported to be in self-isolation as well.

Knowing the character of the typical politicians who are ever mobile, it is hard to see these politicians not mixing up with people. If they are infected and isolating what about their contacts? Are they also isolating? Where are they isolated, self or isolation centres? What is the response of the State’s COVID-19 Committee and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the state in identifying and isolating these suspected cases?

With the relaxation of the restrictions as measures to contain the ailment, life has returned to normal and we can make bold to say that what we see of people in their conduct post restriction, many operate in a manner suggesting that the sickness may have disappeared. This is very dangerous and may possibly be the reason why COVID-19 is spiking up in the state. Everything it seems point to this position.

Without sounding alarming, Edge Express wish to alert the government to do something urgently before it is confronted with situations it will find difficult to grapple with. The discovery of COVID-19 in rural areas which reports indicate affected a young kid sends the signal that the rural environment once adjudged as safe is now endangered. The government should no longer sleep in its responsibilities.

If there is any time to keep people awake it is during this cold weather which is claimed to be the best time the ailment is capable of wrecking more havoc. The Europeans and American nations have experienced more deaths while Africa recorded just a few because it is stated that their temperate weather predispose them to more attack since the ailment thrive more in a cold weather.

Edge Express in a recent survey noted that many people have shunned the use of nose masks and activities in the market and other public places including government are carried on without respect for physical distancing. Our fun and entertainment spots have returned with full bang with no COVID-19 measures observed, interstate boundary restrictions not respected etc.

There signposts a more worrisome situation if schools are allowed to reopen. At the international level no remedy has been procured for this ailment. While it may be difficult to contain people from expressing themselves with further consequences on survival, we call on the government to expedite action in delivering a local solution as Madagascar did. We are challenging the ingenuity of the stakeholders in the health sector to deliver a home grown solution because we know that it is possible. This is the reason we commend the federal government efforts in examining the traditional options as a remedy to cure the dreaded disease. We call on the government to intensify efforts on the sensitization that COVID-19 is still here with us.

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