Posted by News Express | 8 June 2020 | 981 times
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has handed over to his Deputy and proceeded to an isolation centre after testing positive for the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, alongside 66 other Abians.
Information reaching News Express has it that the Governor has authorised his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, to manage the affairs of the state in his absence.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had last night (Sunday, June 7, 2020) announced that Abia recorded 67 new cases of COVID-19 and the Governor’s aides followed up this morning with the disclosure that the Governor was among the 67 confirmed cases.
Before now, Abia had only 16 cases which placed her 34th on the table of states with COVID-19 cases in the country.
But last night’s sampled results showed that Abia topped the log as the state recorded the highest number of cases by any state in one day, knocking off Lagos State which had consistently occupied the unenviable position since COVID-19 testing commenced in the country.
Today, Abia has 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19, making the state the second highest in the South East, coming behind Ebonyi State which has recorded 103 cases.
However, the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, said the result announced by NCDC was not just for a day’s test but had accumulated for about 12 days.
In an interview in Umuahia this morning, Okiyi said there was need to clear the air about the perception of many people that Abia recorded 67 cases in one day.
“I need to point out that contrary to the perception people has regarding those 67, those were not results from a one-day test.
“We have been aware of these numbers dating back 10-14 days ago. Indeed, some of the patients listed among the 67 have already been discharged from isolation because they have turned negative; they have returned second negative results.
“What happened was that NCDC did not announce those results for some time and by the time they piled up all our results in the past, it is about 12 days, they came to that 67,” the Commissioner said.
Confirming the status of the Governor, Okiyi said: “The Governor confirmed that the second test carried out on his sample by the NCDC laboratory, returned a positive result.
“I wish to assure the good people of Abia State that their governor is fighting the virus. We spoke even up to 2am this morning but he decided that it is important to let the people of Abia State know and that we also strongly advise our people to take personal responsibility for their own safety because COVID-19 is real and that the state has the resources to nurse individuals who might come down with this virus back to good health.”
He assured that while the Governor would be undergoing treatment, there would be no vacuum as the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, would stand in for him.
“The Governor is being taken care of by a team of competent medics and, in the interim, the Deputy Governor will continue to perform the duties of the Office of the Governor and we do not expect that there will be any lacuna in government,” Okiyi said.
He assured that state government has the capacity to nurse all COVID-19 patients in the state back to good health.
“We are going ahead to isolate and manage those concerned (the 67 new cases)and we will take new measures which will be announced in due cause to continue to protect our people from this virus but what is important at this time is that every Abian must take personal responsibility for the protection of himself and his family.
“It is no longer the time to depend on government or on anybody. You need to wear your face mask properly as you are going out; you need to make sure that you wash your hands and use sanitizers where available, you need to make sure that you do not show up in any gathering, in any market that is clustered. You make sure that you take responsibility because this virus is with us,” Okiyi added.
Only a few days back, the Governor, in a statement he personally endorsed, announced that he and his family members, including his wife, Nkechi, children and aides, tested negative to the COVID-19 with the exception of one of the aides.
But according to the NCDC, a second test revealed that the Governor was positive.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Governor has assured Abians that he was stable and in high spirit.
Ememank explained that Ikpeazu decided to present himself for a second COVID-19 test to remove all doubts about his status and has advised the people not to panic about the outcome, even as he has commenced self isolation.
“As your Governor, I have a responsibility to do what is right and keep our people fully updated about my health status,” the CPS quoted the Governor as saying.
According to Ememanka, the Governor does not believe that testing positive to Coronavirus was not a death sentence and assured the people that he would continue to treat issues surrounding the pandemic with all seriousness and take all necessary precautions in line with protocols enunciated by NCDC.
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