By Lanre Oloyede
Development Communication expert, Chief Tunde Imolehin, has suggested to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, PTF, to consider the idea of renaming the isolation centres where victims of the highly contagious coronavirus disease are being contained as treatment centres.
This, he said, will help to prevent stigmatization and as well encourage many Nigerians to voluntarily submit for covid-19 test.
Imolehin spoke exclusively to Nigerian Pilot while reacting to the rate of defiance of Nigerians to the guidelines guiding the partial easing of lockdown which began Monday.
Nigerian Pilot had earlier observed and reported how citizens trooped out Monday en mass to public places like banks, and bus-stops with flagrant disregard to the social distancing protocol as directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and the PTF.
Imolehin, a former member of the Strategic Communications Committee of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, said: “Just like I frown at the continuous retention of the word, “Force” in the name of the Nigeria Police, the isolation centres should be renamed Treatment centres to prevent stigmatization and encourage many to voluntarily submit for COVID-19 test.
Another prominent Nigerian who has alluded to this idea is Jake Ekpelle, President/Founder of Albino Foundation.
Ekpelle gave the idea a nod when he appearded on a public education programme on covid-19 monitored on television by Nigerian Pilot.
With reports that the isolation centres are in bad conditions across the country, there are fears that Nigeria may experience massive covid-19 test apathy.
According to experts, this may spell doom for the nation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Recall that the NCDC had earlier announced it has a target of testing one million Nigerians in the next three months in order to stall community transmission of the virus.
Nigeria currently has about 2,802 confirmed cases of covid-19 with 417 already treated and discharged while 93 deaths have been recorded.
Lagos remains the epicentre of the virus with 1,183 confirmed cases, closely followed by Kano with 365 cases while FCT is in third place with 297 confirmed cases.