By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano on Thursday hinted that the state has successfully set up a 250-bed Isolation Center at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Mbaukwu/Umuawulu and a 16-bed Isolation Centre at the General Hospital Onitsha.
The Governor who gave the update during a broadcast in Awka said that the isolation centers will be commissioned by him tomorrow (Friday) , if God wills.
Recall that two of the governor’s executive on Monday declared that he had been in self quarantine for eleven days having had contact with Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State during a recent NEC meeting in Abuja.
Mohammed had announced that he tested positive to the virus.
According to Obiano, the Onitsha isolation center have been adjudged the best in the country adding that two Surge Centers have also been put in place at Ekwulobia General Hospital and Umueri General Hospital.
He said, “By the Grace of God, I shall commission both centers tomorrow. I have been assured that both facilities shall be up and running within one week. On behalf of Ndi Anambra, I express my profound gratitude to Fidelity Bank and Access Bank for their kind gesture.
“Ndi Anambra, I am happy to announce the Management of Fidelity Bank and the Management of Access Bank have both volunteered to equip the Surge Centers at Ekwulobia General Hospital and Umueri General Hospital with a 60-bed facility each that meets the World Health Organization standards on Coronavirus.
“Here is an update on what has happened since my last broadcast. In Anambra State, we respect our experts. My Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala has reliably informed me that at this moment in time, our dear state does not have a single recorded case of Coronavirus. Six samples have so far been sent for testing and four of the samples were declared negative. The results of the other two have not been released yet. We have sent three new samples today for testing.
“Please note that samples are usually taken from what the experts call CASE DESCRIPTION. Case Description is a situation where an individual who has just returned from any of the countries and cities that have serious Covid-19 cases begins to show symptoms of Coronavirus or a situation where someone who has come in contact with people suffering from CoronaVirus begins to show symptoms of the pandemic.”
The governor reeled out the symptoms to invlude, cough, runny nose, fever and difficulty in breathing, saying that samples are usually taken from such people and sent to the testing center.
While saying that so far, Anambra is safe of the pandemic, he stressed that the state will continue on its efforts at testing to ensure that CoronaVirus does not take it unawares. surprise.
On the economic stimulus package, Obiano said, “Our response to the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic is multi-dimensional. We have mounted a massive awareness campaign on all media platforms to enlighten our people on the threat of Coronavirus.
“We have closed our boundaries with neighbouring states and shut down our 63 major markets in Anambra State to flatten the curve on this virus. We have set up Isolation Centers and equipped them with facilities that meet WHO standards.
“And finally, we have also rolled out an Economic Stimulus Package to cushion the effect of steps we have taken against the virus on the most vulnerable members of our communities.
“We have commenced the distribution of 200 bags of rice to each of the 181 communities in Anambra State to be distributed among our senior citizens from 70 years and above. In communities where we have more than 200 people within the specified age bracket, distribution shall start from the oldest to the youngest in the age bracket.
“Beyond that, we have also given a 10% relief on personal income taxes to businesses in Anambra State for the year 2019. This means that if you have been paying your taxes regularly, you will get a 10% refund of the entire sum you paid in 2019. I have no doubt that this will be of great help to businesses in the state.”
Obiano noted that the Interventions from the Private Sector has started yielding results saying that other illustrious indigenes of the state have pledged to assist the government with Personal Protection Equipment and other medical supplies.
He reeled out individuals and coperate bodies that have heeded to the call in cash and equipment to include, UBA Plc –N28, 500,000, Ibeto Petrochemical- N10m, J I Ejison of Ejison International Ltd – N5m, Chief Ken Nwogbo –N5m,Chief Ejeson Ukeje –N5m, Chief Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil – N2m,
Others were, Senator Victor Umeh -N2mHis Royal Highness, Igwe Gerald Mbamalu, Igwe Ojoto – N1m, Mr Godwin Ezeemo– N500,000, Obinna Okechukwu Nwosu – N3000, 7Com Enterprises-N2000, Dr Ernest Audialor Obiejesi – 4000 Facial Masks and 900 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
The governor added, “Other illustrious indigenes of the state that have pledged to assist the government with Personal Protection Equipment and other medical supplies are Chief Engineer Arthur Eze, Dr Cosmas Maduka, Chief Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), Sir Emeka Offor, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu (Chisco), Emma Bishop Okonkwo (Ekulo Group) and Chief Allen Onyema (Air Peace).
“Ndi Anambra we are still appealing for donations to boost our capacity to overcome the threat posed by this pandemic. We especially need ventilators and Personal Protection Equipment like gloves, goggles for the eyes, apparels and masks. We shall appreciate any intervention that will strengthen our capacity in these areas.
“We are determined to strengthen our campaign against Coronavirus in our dear state with the following measure, “We shall soon commence the distribution of 3 million masks residents of Anambra State 181 communities in Anambra. The Igwes and the PGs will assist the government in profiling the tailors in the various communities that will help in mass-producing these masks for distribution to the members of the communities.
“Our intention in handing out 3 million masks is to ensure that after the 14-day shutdown of the state, no one will step out of their home without wearing a facial mask. The Czech Republic is relying largely on a heavy use of facial masks to minimize the incidence of Coronavirus in its territory. These masks shall be made by our own tailors carefully selected from each of the 181 communities of Anambra State.
“The modalities for the manufacturing and distribution of the masks shall be worked out and announced subsequently.
“We shall also commence the fumigation of the 63 markets in Anambra State while the traders are at home. This will help to reduce the toxicity of the business environment and minimize the exposure of our people to different kinds of infections.
“We are giving a two-month waiver to Keke and shuttle bus operators in the state on the usual permits they pay. The grace period covers the months of April and May, 2020. The leadership of the Tricycle Union and the Bus and Shuttle Bus Drivers Union have also given a two-month waiver to Keke and Shuttle bus drivers. I hope that this will cushion the sudden fall in their income occasioned by the restricted number of passengers they are expected to carry at a time these days. This is also a part of our Economic Stimulus Package for the vulnerable.
“To ensure that our children are not adversely affected by the closure of schools, we have migrated our classrooms to Radio, television and Facebook. A partnership between the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) and the Ministry of Basic Education is meeting the educational needs of our children with a programme title “Anambra Teaching on Air.” Visit the ABS website for further details.”
The Governor further expressed the state’s readiness to fight the pandemic, saying that the state haa learnt from the experience of the approaches adopted by France and Lagos in battling the Covid-19 virus.
“We have stockpiled the medicines used in managing outbreaks in both places in case we experience an incident here. I therefore urge you to be calm and ensure adequate compliance with the standard directives on Covid-19 which includes – wash your hands regularly with soap, use hand-sanitizers regularly, cough and sneeze into your elbows, put on a face mask while going out and most importantly; stay home and stay safe.”