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COVID-19 pandemic not a death sentence – Anambra Health Commissioner



ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala has said the current COVID-19 ravaging the world was dangerous but not a death sentence.

  “Yes, there is a recorded index case. The disease is not a death sentence.” Dr Okpala said this while reacting to the case identified in the state during interactive session at the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), radio monitored in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

  The index case is currently being taken care of at the Protective Care Centre at the General Hospital, Onitsha.

  He said that of the 14 samples sent out, 13 came back negative while the 14th which came back last was positive.

  He also re-assured Ndi Anambra that there was no cause for alarm since the identification and contact history of all secondary contacts was ongoing.

  “As at April 12, we have 28 contacts; the family, friends and business associates of the index case have all been contacted.

  “We have also decontaminated all those facilities he had access to before we took index case to our Protective Care Centre, based on Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) and WHO guidelines.

  “The state has no problem when it comes to tests, when you call our Emergency Operation Centre numbers and if we take samples, the result comes out within 24 to 48 hours,” he said.

  Dr Okpala explained that it was the sole responsibility of NCDC to announce results of any case.

  “If we collect the samples, fill the form and send to the Test Centre that is where the level of our control stops.

  “The results will be sent to us, while the NCDC announces it to the public.

  It is not for the interest of the public to know who the victim is, but for that of the Health Ministry, which I am the head as the Commissioner.

  The index case, according to Okpala, is receiving adequate care.

  “I led the team that took the index case to the Protective Care Centre and I made sure the fellow was served his favourite food — plantain porridge and fish at around 7.30am before I left.

  “I was there on April 12 to see and monitor the health status, and will also do that on a daily basis until the fellows recovers,” Okpala noted.

  The state, he said, was working so hard to have its own test machine which would be ready soon.

  Dr Okpala pleaded with Ndi Anambra to stay at home, noting that if all the measures were being applied religiously, that the state would be free from getting more victims.

  “The virus does not have legs, people move the virus; if you stay at home, the virus will die.

  “If you move, you move the virus, and it will continue to spread not only to Anambra but beyond the state.”

  The commissioner, then, urged Ndi Anambra to regularly wash their hands with soap under running water and to make use of alcohol- based hand sanitisers.

  He also cautioned people to stop hand-shaking and maintain physical distancing as well as apply other measures given to them.

  Dr Okpala re-assured the public that government was already making and sincere efforts to secure and protect lives of citizens

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