Lassa Fever: Shut Down Schools If You Want To Save Imo People, Group Tells Gov Okorocha
By Austin Echefu
A group known as Unity Friends of Nigeria (UFCN) has called on Governor Rochas Okorocha to shutdown all public schools in the state as a way of controlling the outbreak of lassa fever in the state.
Governor Okorocha had on Wednesday disclosed that three persons were already dead while seven persons were hospitalized.
But according to the leader of UFCN, Mazi Ikokwu Amakor, UCFN said that shutting down all the public schools in the state would help curtail further spread of the disease in the state.
The group noted that it was better to shut down the schools and save life than doing otherwise, adding that the safety of Imo people should be the priority of the governor.
Meanwhile, while speaking with Government House Correspondents in Owerri on Wednesday, the Governor expressed concern that lassa fever was spreading rapidly in the state, adding that three persons were already dead.
He gave the assurance that his government has taken measures to control the situation.
“This morning (Wednesday) we woke up to hear that lassa fever has killed three persons and we also have seven cases PD lassa fever patients and this number is too large for a state. And we are concerned about the speed of spread. These cases were recorded in some hospitals, somewhere in Orlu and some other parts of the state. For this reason, we kindly advise that people should avoid crowded areas, lessen the shaking of hands and body contacts at this period”, Governor Okorocha said.
He also assured that his government would do everything to bring the situation under control, saying that nobody should worry.
“You are aware that lassa fever is caused by some species of rats that eat some food and people come to eat it. The state is on it. The Ministry of Health has been adequately informed to take all necessary steps to to curtail the spread. But all this number has risen this morning and we will like to advise that people should avoid as much as possible some foods and body contacts especially in schools and market places.
“We will do everything to humanly possible to make sure that this spread is curtailed. While government is taking this action, people should keep a clean and healthy environment at this time, avoid so many children staying in one place while government should handle the burial of those that died of lassa fever. As you know, lassa fever is deadly, but if any discovery is made, life can be saved.
“It is not something to worry about. We have always had cases of lassa fever especially during the period of extreme heat. We advise that people should report cases of fever of any sort to the nearby hospital, and doctors by this development have been advised on what to do when such cases are reported.
“To all Imolites, this is to inform you that lassa fever is in Imo State and it is confirmed and we have lost lives as a result and we more cases springing up. So this is a period that everybody must be conscious of body of body contacts with people and over crowded areas.
“We watch the development closely and we hope this will be the last of it. But if we have more cases, which we don’t hope to have, we might be forced to take some actions to stop all events of crowded places just to save lives. This is not the period for people to drink raw garri because you know garri is not cooked and people just pour water on garri and drink it and when rat has urinated on the garri. So people are advised to ensure that their foods are well cooked”.
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