By Obioma C. Appolos
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has told Abians that days ahead will be difficult as the state record its index case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Governor Ikpeazu, when he addressed journalists in Government House Umuahia on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, disclosed that one of the two persons who contracted COVID-19 in Abia were initially being treated in a private clinic and that the clinic
has been closed down to the public until properly disinfected while all the doctors and nurses who attended to them still remain quarantined until the result of their tests is out.
“The days ahead will be difficult, so I call for more courage and commitment in the hands of our front line officers and all citizens.
”Government will continue to provide all the PPE required to protect our medical and paramedical personnel. We are sending a consignment of additional PPEs and other materials to support Federal Medical Center ( FMC), Umuahia.
“The private clinic where one of these patients was treated is hereby closed to the public until properly disinfected while all the doctors and nurses who attended to them still remain quarantined until the result of their tests is out.” Ikpeazu, said.
Furthermore, he stressed that all borders will remain locked, while encouraging citizens to always wear face masks and continue to practice social distancing.
“Government will insist that all borders shall remain locked till further notice. All our citizens should remember that wearing of face masks in Abia is compulsory. Government will encourage all citizens to continue to practice social distancing and strict rules of hand washing as well as use of sanitizers.”
He also said the government will embark on massive contact tracing of those that came in contact with the two index cases.
”We shall embark in massive contact tracing across all the LGAs where these index cases have been associated with in the recent past. Hence, Ikwuano, Ukwa West and Umuahia North LGAs will be covered during this contact tracing.
“The state shall embark on massive community testing drawing samples from ward to ward even in local governments that are remote to the target LGAs and the details will be announced.
“It is important to note that both patients had underlying medical conditions ranging from Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Stroke and Heart failure. However, we are optimistic that our medical team and the team at FMC are capable of doing a good job, God helping them.”
Recall that before confirmation of the COVID-19 patients, Abia State had provided 2 isolation centers in Aba and Umuahia with a combined capacity for about 50 patients
The state had also trained all frontline officers down to the PrImary Health Care (PHC) level, and provided 6 state owned ambulances, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, patient monitors and more than enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
According to Governor Ikpeazu, the two patients are old (70 and 72 years old respectively) and have no previous history of travel at least in the recent past.