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NCDC raises the alarm over community transmission of COVID-19

By Osiberoha Osibe (Awka) and Collins Osuji (Owerri)
26 June 2020   |   3:00 am
The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) yesterday raised the alarm over increasing cases of community transmission of COVID-19, as against cases

Anambra records four new cases
• 60% of rural dwellers regard virus as a scam, says group

The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) yesterday raised the alarm over increasing cases of community transmission of COVID-19, as against cases of those with travel history.

Team Lead of NCDC’s Laboratory Surveillance Pillar, Dr. Sikiru Badaru, who visited Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, to brief him on his team’s assignment in the state, confirmed that cases of those with travel history had reduced drastically.

Badaru pointed out that the shifting development informed NCDC’s decision to focus more attention on community transmission in order to effectively contain the scourge.

He said community-based response, which is hinged on case definition pertains to Influenza Night Infection (INI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), stressing, “We now rely on the two infections to identify cases and test suspects at the community level.”

Besides, Anambra State has recorded four fresh cases of COVID-19, 24 four hours after the Ministry of Health celebrated the discharge of all infected cases from its isolation centres.

The state has so far recorded 66 cases with four fresh active cases, 57 discharges and nine deaths.

However, President of Lifecare Protection, Rehabilitation and Safety Organisation, Dr. Mmasinachi Umeh, commended its community transmission sensitisation, which she said, contributed to more awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Umeh lamented that from the onset, those who reside in rural areas did not believe that the pandemic was real, stressing that it required more enlightenment and enforcement by the task force and security operatives.

The former President of Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) in the South-East zone canvassed sanctions for clerics, who allegedly encourage their members to flout protocols and guidelines on prevention of the disease.

Meanwhile, the South East Coronavirus Intervention Network (SCIN) has disclosed that over 60 per cent of people resident in rural communities still regarded coronavirus as a scam.

SCIN Coordinator, Nze Meekam Mgbenwulu, stated this when the group undertook awareness campaign on COVID-19 to Ihim Community in Isiala Mbano Council Area of Imo State.

Mgbenwulu said poor awareness of the scourge among rural dwellers was a major cause of the recent rise in the spread of the disease in Imo state and the entire country.

He cautioned that unless the governments, their agencies and other organisations intensified efforts towards combating the pandemic, the consequences might become more alarming in no time.

Other SCIN team members, Chioma Egbuagha, Mrs. Juliet Oguekusi and Uju Odette urged traditional rulers and other community leaders to help ensure that their people become more conscious of the virus.