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Published On: Thu, Apr 30th, 2020

Coronavirus: Persons with disabilities protest exclusion from programmes

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From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

Persons with disabilities on Wednesday in Asaba, Delta State protested their exclusion by the state government, and various communities against the pandemic virus in the Covid-19 sensitisation programme to reduce the spread of the deadly disease
In what appeared to be mild drama, the disabled around Summit road in the early hours, said” nobody is carrying along, we are neglected in the sensitization programme against Covid-19 pandemic, does mean we are not human beings? , What are our Offences? because we cannot walk or do something like others? “
The Chairman of the Delta chapter of Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities, (JONAS WD), Mr Obruche Omor said that all the sensitization campaigns on the coronavirus across the country, have failed to carry them along, especially,the deaf because of the absence of no signs interpreters.
Omor said: ‘’As far as we are concerned, the deaf community is totally locked out because there are no sign language interpreters in all the sensitization programme.
‘’Even in our normal traditional media that is the television stations owned by the state, you hardly see them except in few Federal Government programmes.
‘’Like here in Delta state, I have not seen or witnessed any.
‘’Even the state Bureau for Orientation, in all the orientation and enlightenment programmes, they have been carrying out across the state, not one person, who is a sign interpreter is involved in any of their programmes.’’
According to him, persons living with disabilities are most vulnerable group mostly affected by COVID-19.
“For the visually impaired persons, the only way that they can find their way is by touching and the World Health Organisation (WHO) made us to understand that one of the easiest ways to be infected with the Coronavirus is touching infected objects,” he added.
Omor therefore, called for more enlightenment where sign interpreters and relevant stakeholders would be part of the sensitization programme in order to help drive the message to persons living with disabilities. who are more vulnerable to the disease.
Meanwhile, Delta State government on Tuesday confirmed the discharge of two Covid-19 patients in the state after they had tested negative to the virus adding that the state was committed to the protection in the spread against the pandemic.
Governor Okowa who announced this through Delta Broadcasting Service ( DBS), said that the discharge of the two patients leaves the number of active cases in the state at three Persons still undergoing the process of recovery

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