By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri, Aug. 27, 2020 Imo government has announced plans to begin community mass testing for COVID-19 on Sept. 1.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Damaris Osunkwo made this known while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Thursday.
Osunkwo, who thanked the state governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma for his administration’s commitment to the fight against Coronavirus, urged health workers in the state not to relent in their efforts.
She expressed optimism that the planned mass testing will enable the state achieve it’s aim of testing at least one per cent of its not less than six million inhabitants.
She said the action was in line with directives from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
She added that arrangements had been concluded for mobile laboratories to alternate from one Local Government headquarters to another with the aim of testing 500 persons in each LGA.
” We are on top of this matter and we will continue to do our best to look after Imo residents. COVID-19 is not a death sentence.
” We call on our people to come out and be tested for free, starting Sept. 1.
” The test is voluntary. Gov. Hope Uzodinma has assured that those who test positive will get free treatment and feeding.
“We are in this together for a COVID-19 free Imo and our aim is to test, treat, trace and stay safe”, she said.
The commissioner called on the media as well as traditional rulers to partner with the state for effective information dissemination.
Also speaking, the Director Public Health, Dr Austin Okeji said that the tests will be on schedule from one LGA to another with a duration of two days for each LGA.
He added that social mobilisation officers were assiduously working with traditional rulers in order to achieve what he described as “aggressive sensitisation”.
” We have activated our social mobilisation officers who are collaborating with traditional rulers for aggressive sensitisation of our people. Hopefully, the results will be worth the effort “, Okeji said.