COVID-19: Ebonyi residents task govt. on action to curb spread as state records first case-By Reginald Okoro


Gov. Dave Umahi

Ebonyi residents have urged the state government to take urgent and decisive action to curb spread of the dreaded Coronavirus known as COVID-19 as the state recorded first case of the virus.

A cross section of the residents who spoke to summitnews on Monday in Abakaliki described the development as ‘sad and unfortunate’ calling on the citizens to support government to stem spread.

The residents commended Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi for been proactive and pragmatic in containing spread of the virus in the state since February 27 the first case was recorded in Nigeria.

The respondents who urged state authorities to do whatever it would take to contain the virus from spreading however, expressed fears that such measures might aggravate the suffering of the ordinary citizens of the state.

Dr Kelechi Okezie, an environmentalist and executive director, Neighborhood Environment Watch-Foundation (NEW-F) said that he received the news of record of first index case of the virus with sad feeling.

He said that government had put in enough energy , strategies and resources towards containing and preventing the virus from spreading into the state stressing that the report portend grave danger to the state and its people.

Okezie said; “It is a sad news and it portends grave danger to the health of the citizens if immediate and speedy actions are not taken.

“First, government should embark on massive testing of the citizens seeing that the index patient has had many contacts before showing signs of the virus.

“Also, government should enforce strict compliance of the health directives on the citizens which include; social distancing, wearing of face masks, personnel, environmental sanitation and ban on social gathering .

“Government should make available and continue to announce numbers to call in case someone, a relation or friend shows signs of the virus.

“Government and all stakeholders should call for surveillance and reporting of any suspected case of the virus.

“Above all, citizens should take the message serious and avoid endangering their lives, lives of their family members and other citizens through being stubborn and unlawful.”

He urged residents not to panic but obey government approved directives, regulations, restrictions and orders to stay safe from the pandemic.

Also reacting, Mr Agha Francise said that the report of the pandemic in Ebonyi was rather unfortunate and painful in view of the governor’s commitment to the fight against the virus.

He said that the governor in his determination to protect the people from the virus locked down borders, banned the use of commercial motorcycles in all parts of the state.

He added that government had introduced other far reaching measures to keep the state and its inhabitants safe from the dreaded pandemic.

Francise noted that the food vendor through whom the virus entered into the state should not have embarked on the risky movement.

“The food vendor that brought the virus into the state made a very high risky moment across the states knowing that the people he was going to meet may have contracted the virus from others.

“The disease is ravaging the whole nation; it is an act of carelessness and calousness to have embarked on carrying passangers instead of the food haulage he was meant to do.

“He has put his life in danger, those of his family members and others he may have come in contact with.

“The instruction says that those conveying essential goods including food items, pharmaceuticals and building materials should not carry more than those goods,” Francis said.

Recall that Umahi in a radio broadcast Sunday evening to update the people on the pandemic announced that the state has recorded its first index case of the novel Coronavirus.

He said that the index case was a man from Ukawu in Onitcha local government area that deals in food haulage from Abakaliki to Ore in Ondo said.

Umahi, however urged residents of the state not to panic noting that government was on top of the situation.

Summitnews reports that latest update on the COVID-19 released by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) indicates that Nigeria has confirmed 91 new cases of the virus bringing the number of confirmed cases to 1273.

The report also indicated that 239 persons have been treated and discharged while a total of 40 death has been recorded.


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