The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Owerri on Thursday said it would partner churches and other stakeholders in the state to tackle the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The State Director of the agency, Mr Vitus Ekeocha, said this at a sensitisation and enlightenment campaign of the agency at the Anglican Church of the Redeemed, Orduga, Umuokanne in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government area.
Ekeocha, who gave the history of the pandemic in Nigeria, said that the virus could be contacted through sneezing and cough droplets from affected persons.
He listed the symptoms to include severe cold, headache, fever, sore throat, dry cough, constant sneezing and diarrhoea sometimes.
He said the state now had two molecular and testing centres where people who exhibited such symptoms could be tested
According to Ekeocha, one can avoid contacting the disease by washing one’s hands under a running water, use of alcohol-based sanitiser, face mask and physical distancing, adding that there were likelihood of people affecting each other if all these were not complied with.
He said that some individuals were asymptomatic, while most of the carriers of the virus were young people who were very mobile, while those at risk were the elderly people and those with underlying illnesses as well as the medical personnel.
“There is no cure for the virus. It is treated symptomatically. Those with high immune system can hardly be victims.
“There is a great difference between malaria and COVID-19, if you have persistent cough, malaria, and fever go for COVID-19 test.
“If you are having problem with your health, call the survellaince team. There is no cure so far for the virus, there is no drug that has been clinically validated for the cure.
“Government cannot do everything for us. The enforcement team cannot be everywhere. The rate of transmission from one person to another is getting high. People need to apply precautionary measures,” he said.
The NOA boss said that the church had important role to play in the fight against the virus and urged them to enjoin their members to abide by the COVID-19 protocols.
Ekeocha advised the church members to ensure they eat food that can boost their immunity and avoid stigmatising anyone.
Responding on behalf of the clerics and church members, the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ohaji/Egbema, Rt. Rev. Collins Oparaojiaku, commended NOA for the enlightenment visit.
He said that the issue of COVID-19 was real, but frowned at the way government at all levels and individuals were going about it.
“Politicians and leaders should be disciplined enough to tell people the truth by behaving the way they want the people to behave,” he said.
According to him, there is no need to close the churches if the markets, stores and shops are open.
Some other church members called on government to bring the testing kits and isolation centres closer to the people.
They also asked for the re-orientation of security personnel to help implement the COVID-19 protocols.
Edited By: Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)
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