Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi: determined to curb spread of the virus
The Enugu COVID-19 Expert Medical Advisory Committee (EMAC), on Monday called on the state government to put in place stricter enforcement measures to curb the spread of the pandemic in the state.
Addressing journalists in Enugu, the state capital, Chairman of EMAC, Prof. Emmanuel Ejim, said the call became necessary following the increase in the number of persons infected with the novel coronavirus.
He said the state has recorded 258 cases of confirmed COVID-19 as at Saturday, June 27, of which health workers accounted for 70 cases.
The committee advised the government to enforce the use of breathable (cloth) face masks by residents of the state, saying that this measure will reduce the spread of the virus, especially when combined with social distancing and restriction of crowding.
“Relatedly, this explains clearly why public gatherings for worship and celebrations need to be curtailed in scale, number of attendees, frequency of occurrence and length of time,” said Prof. Ejim.
According to him, ‘reduction in all these variables with regard to public gathering, will limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
“Additionally, elaborate burial ceremonies in an era of high rates of probable COVID-19 cases who may have passed on before a test result was done, puts the public at risk, and therefore, needs to be rethought.
“We must ensure that in paying respect to the dead, we protect the living. Burial rites, therefore, must be personalized for only immediate family members and not crowds, to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” said Prof. Ejim.
He regretted that hygiene activities that were adhered to by residents at the initial stage of the pandemic “are slowly slumping into complacent neglect.”
According to Prof. Ejim, “this is worrisome. COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by droplets and contacts, therefore, hand hygiene is central to breaking the chain of transmission in most situations.
“We must, therefore, call on all authorities, churches, mosques, businesses, malls, banks, super markets, shops and markets to ensure that all persons who patronize them wash their hands with soap and water before they are allowed entry, or where there is no water available, use 70% alcohol concentration containing hand sanitizers.”
He said that the measures recommended by the committee to confront the deadly pandemic were borne out of consultations with stakeholders across the markets, transport sector, healthcare system, religious bodies, and security operatives.
Prof. Ejim thanked the Enugu state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for making significant investments in the provision of treatment and isolation facilities for case management, laboratory capacities for testing and surveillance support “to help unearth the disease wherever it may be.”
SummitNews recalls that Gov. Ugwuanyi recently set up EMAC to advice government on how best to bolster its efforts in rolling back the outbreak of the disease in the state.