THE Imo State Government has traced 37 contacts of the index case of the novel coronavirus after he was uncovered last weekend by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in the State.
A statement at the weekend, by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Damaris Osunkwo who noted other contacts were being traced, stated that the tracing of 37 contacts of the index case must have gladdened the hearts of residents of the state.
According to the statement, although the confirmation of an index case of COVID-19 by the NCDC that Imo was received with mixed feelings,
“The Imo State Ministry of Health, in collaboration with NCDC, African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and the World Health Organization (WHO) enlisted and followed up with the 37 persons. More contacts are being sorted for enlistment.
“Meanwhile, the confirmed case is in the isolation and treatment center where he is doing quite well. All the contacts being followed up have remained without symptoms and are self isolating. We are escalating sample collection and laboratory testing and so far, all the samples sent to the reference laboratory have come out negative, except the index case.”
The statement called for calm over the development, advising residents and indigenes to observe necessary personal hygiene protocols and obey the lockdown order to avoid contracting the disease.
Osunkwo stated: “The use of face masks, observance of social and physical distancing, avoidance of gatherings remained in force while there is still a ban on funerals and burials with more than 20 people. People should comply with the régime of the lockdown and stay at home.”
The commissioner urged all residents of the state to “report all suspected cases of COVID-19 to the Disease Surveillance Officers of the Local Government where the suspected case is.
“The officers and the members of their team will quickly investigate and report their findings to the State Ministry of Health. Clinics, hospitals, other public and private health facilities are advised to remain vigilant with high index of suspicion on COVID-19.”