Mrs Agnes Odogwu, a Community Leader and health expert in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra, has called on the Federal Government to institute punitive measures against defaulters of the coronavirus (COVID-19), safety protocols.
Odogwu, who retired from public service in 2012 as Director with the Primary Health Care, under the state’s Local Government Service Commission, commended the federal and state governments for taking proactive steps to curtail spread of the virus nationwide.
Speaking in an interview with our reporter on Thursday, she, however, said that a lot still needed to be done because it had been observed that lack of stringent measures was the bane of the spread.
“Federal and state governments have put in place several measures like shutdown, restricted airport and inter-state travels, as well as many others to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“But there is still need to put in place strict penalties for defaulters, to serve as deterrent to others and create a healthy and safe environment for people in the coming year,” she said.
She further advised that employers who were yet to prepare for a possible serious wave of the pandemic, should do so to protect themselves and their workforce.
Odogwu also said to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it was pertinent for all involved to put in place measures that would ensure compliance with safety protocols.
She advised governments at all levels to be alert to changing outbreak conditions, including community spread of the virus by instituting infection prevention measures and making available testing procedures.
Odogwu stressed the need for adhering to routine cleaning and disinfection procedures, such as regular handwashing and using alcohol based sanitiser, as well as observing other safety protocols like wearing of face masks and physical and social distancing.
She advised also that the safety and overall well-being of students and the entire education community, as schools resume, must be top priority of all stakeholders, and that the time to plan for such was now.
“Resumption is a complex and highly sensitive issue that requires adequate preparation to avoid unnecessary spread of the virus, and to keep the children safe.
According to her, COVID-19 is currently being actively transmitted in Nigeria and to break the chain of transmission, there is an urgent need for a robust public enlightenment on the disease.
The former director added that physical and social distancing should be emphasised across all age groups with focus on the older population.
It was reported that Odogwu was also former President-General of Obosi Community between 2012 and 2015, who continues to render services as a community health worker in Obosi and environs.