GOVERNOR Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has barred a government member of staff who just returned from China from entering the state asking him to remain at the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) in Lagos until he is certified as clear of the virus.
Apparently, this member of staff who is a driver to one of the members of the state executive council, recently visited China and there are fears he may have contracted the virus. Although is not yet known if the staffer is positive, the governor has asked him to remain in self isolation at the NCDC facility in Lagos for 14 days before returning to Ebonyi State.
Governor Umahi said: “A driver of one of our exco members travelled to China last week and then arrived Lagos last night and boarded a car to come here. Everybody spoke to him not to come until my aide-de-camp reported to me and I said call him.
“I told him, choose between life and death. It is better to sacrifice one person than to endanger everybody because going to China in the wake of very dangerous outbreak is like he has gone to purchase death.
“He said he didn’t have money, so I told him, get a hotel and report yourself to a centre for control of the disease in Lagos. We are sending money to him to get himself accommodation and report himself there so that they can observe him and test him where necessary but he shouldn’t come at all and I am not joking about it.
“If he comes, I will lock him in his house. This coronavirus is a very dangerous disease and you don’t even know when somebody contracts it.”
According to the governor, the Ebonyi State Virology Centre built by his administration is set to commence blood sample testing for the deadly coronavirus soon. He added that the virology centre already has the machine and will commence full testing operation by April 1 when the test kits arrive.
Governor Umahi said that presently, only hospitals in Abuja, Lagos and Edo state have the capacity to test for the virus, which was not adequate for a highly populated country like Nigeria. He added that the Ebonyi State government has banned gathering of more than 50 persons other than those in the essential services centres such as markets , banks and hotels.
“We have purchased a number of equipment like temperature gauges, ventilators and isolation cubicles. Our virology laboratory equipment for lassa fever will be deployed for blood sample testing of suspected Covid-19 patients with symptoms before April 1 when we shall have the test kits”.
“Only three centres are presently doing the testing in Nigeria. When ours comes it shall serve the southeast south-south and even north central geo-political zones,” Governor Umahi added.
He also ordered the recall of all retired health workers in the state to aid in the fight against the deadly coronavirus. Governor Umahi added that the state government has deployed security agencies to monitor all essential services centres for compliance with his directives.