Progressives For Greatness: Preaching The Truth Against Covid-19 In Ebonyi State.
Since December, 2019 when the index case of corona virus otherwise known as covid-19 infection was reported in Wuhan, China, the world has not been the same. Beyond the fatalities recorded across the globe and the global economic challenges of the pandemic, the great confusion which trail the pandemic has called modern civilization and the competencies of world bodies in health, science and technology to question. These have further compounding the impact of the unabating virus on a humanity gasping for breath especially in Africa and other undeveloped climes.
In Ebonyi State in the Southeast of Nigeria, corona virus was held back through the frank and proactive efforts of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, who mobilized officials of his administration to strictly enforce border closure, use of face masks, handwashing, social distancing and isolation. However, it is regrettable that these patriotic efforts of the Ebonyi governor and his team to keep covid-19 off Ebonyi State did not suffice due to the activities of illegal migrants who were forced by the economic pressures of Covid-19 to beat the border restrictions of the government of Ebonyi State. The index case of Covid-19, an unlawful migrant, was recorded on 26th .April, 2020! Currently, Ebonyi State has entered the community transmission stage of the disease and has recorded not just cases of infection running into three-digit figures, but also a number of Covid-19 deaths!
Apart from non-availabity of drugs or vaccines for the virus, community spread of corona virus in Ebonyi State, nay Nigeria, has thrived on cheap lies, confusion and superstitious doubts and rumours about the reality and dangerous nature of the virus. These verified lies about corona virus peddled all over the spaces of Ebonyi State has made folks to relax the observance of the hitherto regimental Covid-19 prevention protocols as designed and enforced by the proactive administration of Chief David Umahi in Ebonyi State. Even those entrusted with enforcement of Covid-19 prevention protocols in Ebonyi State seem to be losing their steam. This trend, if not arrested with dispatch, leaves Ebonyi citizens at the mercy of the dangerous virus.
In solidarity with the avowed intention of the proactive Government of Ebonyi State under Governor David Umahi for Ebonyi people to be safe and healthy, a non-governmental organization in Ebonyi State known as Progressives for Greatness has risen up to tackle and end the spread of superstitious doubts and rumours by sensitizing Ebonyi citizenry on the reality and dangers of corona virus; and the significance of strict observance of Covid-19 prevention protocols as preached by Ebonyi State Government and the National Centre For Disease Control, NCDC, as the only wholesome panacea to the virus. Simply put, this group having discovered that lies and superstitious doubts about Covid-19 have misled people into relaxation of the prevention protocols, thus escalating the spread of the virus, began to wage a terminal war against Covid-19 using the truth about the malevolent nature and reality of the virus as the weapon. The group is preaching the truth against Covid-19 as a way of dissipating the wrong notion held by the people and reinventing Ebonyi people's cooperation with the government to eradicate the disease in Ebonyi State.
Speaking in an induction ceremony of the group which held in Abakaliki on Monday 20th June, 2020, the President of the group, Hon. Okey Mgbada, who is a member of Ebonyi State Secondary Education Board blamed the recent escalation of Covid-19 in Ebonyi State and other parts of the country on the wrong notion which people have about the reality and dangers of the virus.
“The federal, state governments among other organs have deployed several policies to ensure that the disease is curtailed in the society but the numbers keep increasing.
“This increase is because many people still do not believe that the disease is real and even argue that the fatality rate in Africa is considerably low compared to other continents.
“A pandemic that has crippled economic and social activities around the world is no illusion,” he stated.
Hon. Mgbada spoke further to highlight the Covid-19 response activities of his group which included provision palliatives to indigent members of the society and sensitization of people to the severity of the virus.
“We have used the various mass media platforms to enlighten the public that although COVID-19 symptoms are similar to common flu, they should go for testing when they feel unwell.
“We urge the public to observe all COVID-19 protocols as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which include regular hand washing, use of sanitisers, use of face masks, observance of social distancing among others,” he concluded.
The ceremony which the group used to congratulate the administration of Chief David Umahi for radically developing Ebonyi State within the space of five years attracted many dignitaries including the Special Assistant to the Governor of Ebonyi State on Internal Security and Public Utilities (Ebonyi South), Mr Chika Nwangele.