COVID-19: NOA advocates for more testing centres, compulsory testing


Jacob Ogodo, Abakaliki

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on government to provide more testing centres in the state for compulsory testing of the virus in order to control the spread of the disease.

Director of the Agency in the state, Dr. Emma Abah made the call when he led senior staff of the agency on advocacy visits to some traditional rulers in Afikpo North, Ezza North and Ebonyi local government areas of the state.

Dr. Abah  urged traditional rulers in the state to assist in sensitizing rural dwellers in the state against coronavirus pandemic to prevent community transmission the state was facing on the virus.

He said as leaders  of communities, the rural dwellers will take the message of the traditional rulers on the virus seriously and obey all the precautionary measures to control the community transmission.

The Director lamented that many people in the hinterlands do not believe in the existence of the virus and have refused to live safe against the pandemic and urged the traditional rulers to move into the hinterlands to correct the people’s wrong impression of the disease.

“At the time the thing started rising, the people who were already fighting against it had already slumbered. Then we entered phase 2 which is community transmission.

“There should be more testing centres with enough facilities for compulsory testing. When this is done, we can be rest assured that many people will be tested and then treated if they test positive”, he said.

One of the traditional rulers, HRH Eze Sunday Oketa  urged government to impose fine on those who refused to wear their face masks while in public as one of the ways to fight the pandemic and ensure it does not spread further in the state.

He called for accessibility of rural areas through access roads for easy sensitization of the dwellers against the pandemic.

“We are ready to carry the message on the virus to the rural dwellers but how do we do it if there are no access roads?  When we visit them, they will take the message seriously”, he said.