… Lockdown without testing and Contact-tracing is like motion without movement- Dakuku
BY IBRAHIM BAKARE
Rivers-born Administrator and former federal legislator, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has called on Rivers State government to establish more testing centres across the state following the increasing number of people testing positive to Coronavirus.
He stated this following the temporary lockdown of Bonny local government area and Onne in Eleme local government area by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Wike had declared a lockdown in both areas to check the spread of coronavirus owing to a large number of people testing positive to COVID-19.
Peterside called on the governor to make more testing centres available as soon as possible, pointing out that the state government has sufficient resources to provide such a critical facility for the citizenry.
“It won’t be out of the place for the Wike-led administration to provide more testing centers across the state; we have the resources and manpower to do so, especially as more countries in Europe are easing their lockdown. It means we can quickly reach manufacturers unlike before and get these equipment delivered to the state. Many states that are less endowed than Rivers are already investing in establishing test centres, as it is for the ultimate good of their people.
“All the federal constituencies in the state should have a testing Centres at their headquarters, while also encouraging people to have a walk in to be tested like it is being done in many places. The more we are able to test, the better for us as a people,” he stressed.
The immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), however, stressed that the lockdown would make no meaning if aggressive contact-tracing was not carried out.
“I support the lockdown to ensure that we stop the spread of the deadly virus but doing so without aggressive contact-tracing will amount to motion without movement. There must be conscious effort to track all contacts of infected persons, supported by massive testing,” he stated.
He noted that non-adherence to Professional advice by the Rivers State government and the neglect of the two places in the previous lockdown of the state might have contributed to the outbreak; hence “we are paying the price.”
Dr. Peterside appealed to Rivers people to take protocol advisory by health professionals seriously, saying that the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state should be a source of worry and concern.