Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Oyo State, has urged the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to support the agency on public awareness guidelines against COVID-19.
Dosunmu called for the synergy during a courtesy visit to the state executive members of the union in Ibadan on Thursday.
She said that partnering with journalists in the state became necessary to intimate residents on reasons why they should adhere strictly to COVID-19 preventive measures.
Dosunmu said that though many people now believed that coronavirus disease existed, some did not abide with preventive guidelines by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The NOA boss noted that commercial taxi/bus drivers, tricycle and Okada operators did not abide by the stipulated guidelines such as wearing of face mask and number of passengers to be carried.
She called on journalists to promote message of hope about the pandemic to the general public, saying that contracting the disease should not be seen as death sentence.
Dosunmu noted that people should be discouraged from stigmatising COVID-19 patients, noting that the fear of stigmatisation could discourage some from going for treatment.
Mr Demola Babalola, the state NUJ Chairman, appreciated the visit and assured the NOA director of effective collaboration so that the public would be fully sensitised about the virus.
Babalola urged the state government to initiate an executive bill on the compulsory use of face mask across the state.
He added that arrest and prosecution of erring public would reduce the spread of the virus and generate more revenue into the purse of the state government through payment of fines. (NAN)