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COVID-19: Peterside urges Rivers govt. to establish more testing centres



A former federal lawmaker, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has urged the Rivers Government to establish more testing centres across the state, following the increasing number of people testing positive to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Peterside made the call in a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt, following a total lockdown on Bonny Local Government Area and Onne town in Eleme Local Government, by Gov. Nyesom Wike.

It was reported that Wike had ordered a lockdown on both areas, to check the spread of the virus.

Peterside urged the Rivers government to establish more testing centres, pointing out that the state had sufficient resources to provide the critical facility.

“It won’t be out of place for the Wike-led administration to provide more testing centres 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,” he said.

According to him, many states that are less endowed than Rivers are already investing in establishing test centres in view of their relevance to tackling the scourge.

”All the federal constituencies in the state should have a testing centre at their headquarters; people should also be encouraged to walk in, get tested, like it is being done in many places.

“The more we are able to test, the better for us as a people,” he stated.

Peterside, former 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 efforts to track all contacts of infected persons, supported by massive testing,” he added.

He appealed to the Rivers people to take the protocol advisory by health professionals seriously, saying that the rising number of persons testing positive to COVID-19 was a source of worry for every Rivers resident.

Omuboye Sukubo

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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