Ebonyi state government has commencement the 14 days COVID-19 house to house testing, as announced by the State government in a bid to intensity search for possible cases of the virus in different communities across the State.
This welcome development has been greeted with fear from residents of the state who claimed that the exercise is going to constitute a security threat as criminals may take advantage of the exercise to start invading their homes.
This initiative which would be carried out in all the 13 local government areas in the State was announced by the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Barr. Kelechi Igwe, on Tuesday July 7, 2020, In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary , Monday Uzor.
The state government urged residents to take the decision in good fate since there was no drug or vaccine for the treatment of the deadly virus, while assuring Ebonyians that the administration under the leadership of Governor David Umahi will do all it takes to protect the lives of its citizens.
The corona virus pandemic which still ravages the state even after all the measures that have been adopted like the border closure, schools, churches, social joints and other activities, there is still rise in the numbers of affected persons on daily basis.
Let’s not forget that the spike in crime rate with suspects arrested on counts of robbery, and raping of young girls have made private individuals resort to defending themselves and their neighborhood.
It is bad enough for the citizens that are dealing with a pandemic which has kept them away from their sources of livelihood and have them fighting to protect their lives, to be faced also with security threat.
Ebonyi state Government should follow her Lagos state counterpart by sharing useful information to the public on details of how the exercise would be done.
It should ensure that those in charge of the house to house campaign are well trained health care workers, honest, dedicated officials who would strictly observe the COVD- 19 rules.
Before recruitment of these health care workers, they must have passed through series of COVID- 19 test to ensure that they are not carriers of the deadly disease.
The government should ensure that security officers such as the NSCDC, Police, should be attached to each health worker on duty. This is to put the mind of residents at ease that their security and other personal affairs are being taken seriously.
Having security personnel attached to each health worker on duty, will help allay the fears and instill confidence in the people. It will also prevent any form of harassment, intimidation of the health workers and as well ensure that the lives and properties of the citizens are properly secured during the exercise.
However, government should provide identification cards and vests for these health workers for proper identification.
This is to prevent Imposters going to houses as health care workers with the malicious intent to unleash terror in the neighborhood, as so many hoodlums have been reported in various part of the country claiming to be COVID-19 task force officers to extort unsuspecting public.
These health care workers should also be trained on the manners and approach to citizens. Anyone who refuses to be tested should not be forced, rather, such flat or building should be marked for further actions.
Government should also provide contact numbers to report cases of assault by either the residents or the health care workers.
With these put in place, the house to house testing will go a great extent to curb the spread of the disease to its barest minimum.

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