We are ready to combat Coronavirus in Imo, says Prevention Taskforce

The newly constituted committee set up by the Imo State government charged with the responsibility of preventing the entry of the Coronavirus otherwise called Covid-19 into the state has reassured on their readiness to safeguard the citizens from the pandemic.

In a press conference held at Odenigbo Guest House, Government House Owerri, on Monday, the Chairman of the Task Force, Prof. Maurice Iwu said that the state has taken necessary measures to keep the virus away from the state.

He said that aside the effort made to massively sensitize the people about the scourge, there is need for the people to adhere strictly to hygienic and sanitary protocols of regular washing of hands, social distance, minimize unnecessary travels, applying hand sanitizer, wearing face mask, coughing into the elbow among others.

Iwu, a professor of Pharmacognosy, advised that people above the age of 60 should consider staying at home as part of the measure to prevent the virus, pointing out that plan is underway to decongest the workforce of the state during this period and ensure that all schools comply with the state's directive.

He furthered that the fight against the Covid-19 is a collective responsibility, adding that people are encouraged to report any case of someone with severe fever, persistent coughing and sneezing to a nearby health facility or call some designated phone numbers.

According to him, the state has also provided isolation centers and is making efforts to build infectious diseases specialist hospitals that would help to manage the eventuality of the virus or its like in the state in the future.

He equally advised the people not to panic over the pandemic, or indulge in rumour mongering stressing that the virus is manageable and not a death sentence as some people presumed.

"We have also set up measures if there is any such case in our state. The essential thing is that we are here to serve and to the best of our ability. Whatever information we have, we will share with the public.

"We are fully prepared and we are not going to leave any stone unturned to make sure that Imo State is safe from this virus." Prof. Iwu assured.
Also, adding their voices, the Secretary of the team, Dr. Austin Okeji, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, FMC, Owerri, Dr. Kingsley Achigbu, and Mrs. Rejoice Ndudinachi, Manager, Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport, Owerri also highlighted several measures taken to achieve success by the team.

According to them, there is thorough screening of passengers coming into the state through the airport and effort to fumigate all the service areas including the FMC and other stipulated health facilities in the state, all aimed at keeping Imo safe from the pandemic.

They provided the following as the numbers to call in case of emergency or suspect of the case in the state, 09059995559 (Glo), 09040045164 (Airtel) and  07043954215 (MTN).

Other members of the Task Force present at the press conference were Dr. Uduji Uchenna (CMD, Imo Specialist Hospital) Dr. Duru Chukwuma JP (CMD, IMSUTH), Prof. Isaiah Ibe, (Med. Lab, University of Benin, Miss Nkem Chinze Ijere, (Public Health expert), Dr. Chimezie Iwuala, Dr. Kyrian Duruewuru (Chairman, NMA-Imo Chapter), Dr Dunga Kingsley Excel, Chairman, AMLSN, Imo State and Mrs Anyanwu Lilian, Chairman, NNAM, Imo State.