THE Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has directed members of the State Executive Council and Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 to submit themselves for tests and self-isolate till the results of their tests were known.
The directive, which caused an anxious moment among the commissioners, followed the death last week of the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Solomon Ogunji, after concerns were raised regarding the health status of those who might have come in contact with the late commissioner.
In a short statement on Sunday in Umuahia, the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu explained that the directive was also hinged on the results of tests carried out on close members of the late commissioner.
The directive had initially confused most of the commissioners because it was said that the late commissioner, died at the State Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, from complications from high blood pressure.
With Sunday’s statement, there were fears that the late Ogunji, an active member of the State Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19 may have succumbed to the coronavirus disease.
Kalu noted in the statement that, “following the outcome of tests conducted on close family members of a late member of the state executive council and member of the Inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19, the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed all members of the committee and the executive council, who might have recently come in contact with the late commissioner to immediately undergo COVID-19 tests and isolate themselves thereafter pending the outcome of the tests.”
The commissioner for information, who stated that Ikpeazu and the deputy governor are also billed to take the test, called on residents of state “to continue to observe relevant regulations issued by the government and health authorities to stem the spread of the disease.”
Okiyi had recently hinted that the state may be experiencing community transmission since some confirmed cases had no travel history.
He reiterated the need for everyone in the state to observe all hygienic practices and measures against coronavirus.