Prof. Maurice Iwu, Chairman, Imo State COVID-19 Task Force, says Coronavirus is not a death sentence as long as people take precautionary measures instructed by public health authorities.
Iwu made the assertion when members of the Nigeria Medical Association COVID-19 Team, led by Dr. Victor Dike, paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday in Owerri.
He noted that 90 per cent of virus diseases that affected people were not medical, but hygiene induced.
“Viral infection is a health condition and not a medical condition and so there is need to separate the two,” he said.
Iwu commended the NMA for the solidarity visit, adding that the success recorded so far was as a result of their input and support.
He noted that the task force had three major approaches to containing the spread of the virus in the state.
These are communication, education and protection, urging all Imo people to get involved.
He said the medical personnel had a duty to communicate to and educate members of the public on what the virus was all about and how to conduct their lives in order not to contract it.
The task force chairman said the protection aspect raised some conceptional issues, hence the need for isolation centres.
Iwu said: “Coronavirus is real but not a death sentence.
“There are three vulnerable groups that we have to pay attention to and these are the older people, those with low immune system, and those in the healthcare sector so they will not fall victims at the end.”
Earlier, Dike told Iwu that they were in his office to partner with the team in the fight against COVID-19.
He said there was the need to inform Imo people on the status of the index cases in the state and for more aggressive communication in the rural areas on COVID-19.
Dike also called for enhanced welfare for the state’s health workers, whom, he said, were being owed some arrears of salaries.
In another development, Iwu called on Imo people to strengthen existing infrastructure in the state and contribute toward containing the spread of COVID-19.
Iwu made the call when Trustees of the Imo Guild of Elders paid him a courtesy call in his office in Owerri.
He noted that the virus could only be contained through a focused and determined leadership and urged the elders to educate people that the virus is not a death sentence but a disease that could be cured.
According to him, COVID-19 is avoidable, calling for more surveillance and monitoring among people in the communities, especially on new entrances into the community or villages.
The Imo Guild of Elders, led by Charles Ugwu, a former Minister and Industrialist, said the visit was to ascertain the progress so far made in containing the spread of the virus in the state and how they could be of help.