THE Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and his family returned negative COVID-19 results as the state embarks on an extensive testing of the populace in its second phase of the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the state.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ikpeazu, said that the state aims to cover at least 10 per cent of the population through the active case search and directed the State Epidemiologist to work out the modalities.
Ikpeazu had earlier directed his deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, commissioners, members of the State’s Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19, the Transition Committee Chairmen, their deputies and members in the 17 local government areas of the state to undertake coronavirus tests.
The statement reads: “The new phase of the fight against COVID-19 in Abia will require that the state embark on massive test of citizens to achieve at least 10 per cent coverage of our population.
“Towards this, the state epidemiologist has been directed to work out modalities for case searches using sample population size of between 30 to 250 persons, in some densely populated local government areas of the state.
”Meanwhile, we cannot win and save lives as long as we continue to stigmatize our patients. If any person gets COVID-19 it is unfortunate, but it is not criminal and may not be his or her fault.
”Leading this battle from the front, as your governor, I and all members of the first family subjected ourselves to COVID-19 tests on May 30, 2020 and the result came out negative today.
”Unfortunately, results of two of my aides who also subjected themselves to COVID-19 tests were positive while others turned in negative results. We are confident that within days the currently asymptomatic positive patients who are now isolated will be successfully nursed back to good health, with God in our side.
“Further to my earlier directive on the testing of members of the state executive council, I wish to direct that all Transition Council Chairmen of our 17 local government areas and their deputies present themselves for COVID-19 tests and thereafter isolate themselves pending the release of their test results.
“I encourage all citizens and residents to get involved in the battle against COVID-19 rather than engage in rumor mongering,” Ikpeazu said, while urging Abians to “take responsibility because Abia is ready to win this battle with all hands on deck.”