THE Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, might have changed his optimistic attitude on coronavirus to that of doom, as Abia begins to deal with the reality of handling cases of Covid-19.
As that reality struck home, Ikpeazu warned that the government would “treat any individual or citizen that undermines our efforts to keep the rest of us safe as a saboteur and such a person will be made to face the full weight of the law.”
A disturbed Ikpeazu told journalists Tuesday at the Government House, Umuahia, that “it is no longer a time for anybody to compromise for whatever reason. Covid-19 is real and it is here with us,” as he revealed that contact tracing had commenced in Ikwuano, Ukwa West and Umuhia North where the index cases have links with.
The emergence of two index cases, a man and a woman in their 70s, Monday, has convinced the governor that the state may already be on the dreaded community transmission level of coronavirus, especially, as the two cases had no history of previous travels.
Hinting at the possibility of extensive testing in the state, the Governor ordered health workers who treated the index cases to be quarantined while the private clinic, which attended to one of the patients was sealed, awaiting further clinical decontamination.
The governor said: “The significance of the index case in Abia is multiple folds. The first is that, it is now clear for everybody that Covid-19 is real. The second is that a close study of the patients indicates that they are septuagenarians, who have underlying medical conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure.”
The burden Okezie Ikpeazu noted is to ensure “that we recall every protocol and directives that government has enunciated, dovetailing from what the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is directing to us as a way of keeping ourselves safe from Covid-19.”
Reeling out part of the protocol, he said, “all our citizens should take heed and stay at home. Remember that wearing of masks in Abia has become compulsory and with the establishment of mobile courts in Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia, they will ensure that we will arrest and prosecute defaulters.”
Government he said, would ensure that social distancing is observed alongside hand washing and the use of sanitizers while the state borders remained closed