Covid-19: ‘Religious leaders secretly vaccinate, but discourage followers’

Covid-19: ‘Religious leaders secretly vaccinate, but discourage followers’

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The Edo State says some religious leaders who secretly took their Covid-19 vaccination, yet discourage their followers from taking the vaccine in order to attain head immunity against the virus.

A GROUP PHOTOGRAPH OF EDO STATE COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM AT THE BRIEFING ON FRIDAY IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE

Recall that the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Edo State Chapter, Bishop Orinamen Oyonnude Kure had in a broadcast, called on religious leaders in the State to encourage their followers be inoculated against Covid-19.

Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa who made the allegation at a Media briefing by Edo Covid-19 Taskforce on Friday in Benin City, however did not give the names of religious leaders.

“Religious leaders of the various religious bodies have also come out identify with the government to encourage their followers take Covid-19 vaccine. Their followers believe in them and they will follow suit. Unfortunately, one or two religious bodies tend to want to speak negative about Covid-19 vaccine.

“Most of them are secretly taking these vaccines. If you have seen any of these religious leaders that have travelled outside Nigeria, most them have taken the vaccine secretly, but they won’t let you know unfortunately because of their faith; They are misinforming people

“I appeal to everyone in the State to please do the needful”, he stressed.

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Dr. Irowa revealed that the State Government has engaged town announcers and town criers across the State including motorised means of communication to sensitised the people on the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination.

“We have our town announcers who are also working to create awareness particularly in the rural setting. But their presence is not effective in the urban setting towards attaining 60 percent vaccination percent in Edo State.

“Across the entire State, we are also rolling out motorised means of communication. Vehicles and speakers on top to help in singing the goodness of this vaccines to all of us.

“We want to know that it our collective responsibility not just government alone, but all Nigerians.

“In the meantime, we need to step up our Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions, NPIs. His Excellency has given us that mandate to go back to the NPIs that we have been doing before.

According to him,we are making sure that infection prevention and control measures are in top gears. These non pharmaceutical measures will be stepped up. They include hand wash, approximate use of face masks, regular, testing head of school resumption, next week, Dr. Irowa said.

On his part, Dr. Osagie Ebomwonyi, Case Management Lead on Covid-19 response in Edo State, said the State has recorded 28 new cases of Covid-19 cases and four new deaths without any recovery and discharge.

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Giving further insight on Covid-19 fatality rate, Dr. Pius Ononigwe, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Rep in Edo, revealed that majority of those testing positive to Covid-19 are less than 50 years.

He explained that those who have died from Covid-19 disease are older people especially people with cold mobility like hypertension based on available data.

“95.5 of people who were infected unvaccinated with the disease while 4.5 percent of those who were vaccinated, got infected.

World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Edo State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, said, the State has enough vaccines to caretaker for her population.

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