ANAMBRA State Governor Willie Obiano has stressed the urgent need for tougher observance of COVID-19 hygienic protocol, noting that a strict compliance to the protocols remains the only chance of surviving this global threat.
In a statewide broadcast on COVID-19 update on Monday, Obiano pointed out that the reality of the coronavirus disease is not far anymore as “some of us have lost close relatives and friends to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The governor said he is aware “that our level of alertness on COVID-19 has started dropping. Most people no longer observe the basic COVID-19 protocol such as regular washing of hands, regular wearing of face masks, frequent use of hand sanitizers and strict adherence to social distancing.
“I have been informed that some people even hold lavish parties and other ceremonies with large attendance in total disregard to the safety principles of COVID-19.
“We must not willfully invite trouble to ourselves. Be warned that the law enforcement agents will deal with anybody or group violating the COVID-19 protocol. The best response strategy against COVID-19 remains prevention.
“The imperatives of adjusting to the lifestyle change imposed on us by COVID-19 cannot be over emphasized. We must either adjust our lifestyle and adhere to the COVID-19 protocol or face the dire consequences of reckless living.”
“More than ever before, we must all pay more attention to the COVID-19 protocol as that is still the best defence mechanism against the pandemic.”
The governor stated that since the index case, the state has collected 618 samples, conducted 590 tests, 101 tested COVID-19 positive, 489 tested negative and 12 deaths; 77 people have been discharged.
Obiano explained that the chances of a patient’s survival depended on early detection and management because, “the patients who have died so far were people who wasted a long time and reported their cases very late.“
He applauded the improved testing capacity of the state especially with the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) setting a major testing facility in Amaku, and test units stationed in the 21 Local Government Areas to ensure collection of samples.
Obiano disclosed that “the COVID-19 testing laboratory at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), has run 208 Covid-19 tests in two days.
“Each of the five machines has an installed capacity to run 470 tests in 24 hours. This means that when fully optimized, our molecular laboratory can run a total of 2,350 COVID-19 tests in 24 hours.
He explained that with the increased testing, COVID-19 figures will rise and “when you see a sudden surge in the number of cases from our state, please do not panic because it is a major part of our fight back against the pandemic.
“We are at a stage where one of our most effective survival strategies against this pandemic is to increase the number of tests we do.”
He therefore appealed to traditional rulers and church leaders to assist in creating more awareness on the need for people to go for tests because “it is the only way to erase all doubts and also the best way to ensure early detection and treatment.”