1st April, 2020
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has warned the people to avoid adopting any form of self-medication for preventive and curative care against Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Ikpeazu in a broadcast on Wednesday in Umuahia urged the people to adhere to instructions by qualified medical and health practitioners and relevant health authorities.
The governor stressed the need for the observance of strict hygiene culture, adding that the government was prepared to tackle the virus in the event of an outbreak.
He said that the government had evolved a strategy which focused on prevention and prompt containment of the disease.
According to him, the government had issued a directive for a total lockdown of Abia with effect from Wednesday, April 1, to last for seven days, noting that only essential service workers were exempted.
He also said that the closure of state’s borders, which commenced on March 29, was for an initial period of two weeks and that the directive was subject to review as events unfold.
”Security agencies had been deployed to implement the directives to ensure full compliance in the state,” the governor said.
He further said that state government was concerned about the inconveniences caused by the directives, hence steps were being taken to sustain the livelihood of the people.
The governor said that the government had also inaugurated a food and security team to work out palliatives in event of a prolonged lockdown.
Ikpeazu said that the government would take action against any form of disobedience to the directives as it was desirous to protect the lives of its citizens.
He noted that the Abia government would continue to intensify sensitisation campaigns on COVID-19 and distribution of supplies and preventive essentials.
Ikpeazu said that the period of lockdown would be used to fumigate public places as part of measures to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
He said that the government has prepared isolation centres in ABSUTH, Abia Specialist, Diagnostic Hospital and FMC and that plans are underway to establish another one in Abia North.
“We are working with some private hospitals to ramp up support to render help, should the need arise. All the 772 primary health centres are ready to perform the duty of first responders in rural areas.
“We have critical drugs required to nurse patients back to health in an event that anyone tests positive. We have also mobilised Six ambulances to safely transport suspected cases to nearest isolation centres.
“Abia Telehealth is on ground to answer any inquiries concerning the disease and coordinate with all health facilities in the state,” Ikpeazu said.
He said that the state had received N28.5m from UBA Foundation and would utilise it to establish a laboratory in the state Specialist and Diagnostic Hospital.
The governor thanked other philanthropists for their donations and support and gave the assurance that the state government would utilise them judiciously.