By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has called on residents of the state to shield themselves from the second wave of CoronaVirus.
He regretted that the state has in the past two weeks recorded a spike in the number of positive cases because of lack of strict adherence to the protocols of the dreaded pandemic.
Obiano who made the statement during a special message to Anambra people said, “Reports from across Anambra State show a huge increase in the incidence which if not arrested now will produce a catastrophic result in the near future.
“There are 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state since the second wave began two weeks ago, meaning an average of 40 cases per week. In contrast, the state used to record nine cases per week on average in the first wave.
“Despite the deaths of some high- profile Nigerians in the second wave of the pandemic like a former vice chancellor of Alex Ekwueme University in Ebonyi State, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, who was also a former vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, noted Governor Obiano, “it is disheartening that there are people in Anambra State who doubt the Covid-19 is ravaging the country.
“There are two persons who a few days ago came for testing and were confirmed to be positive. Instead of isolating themselves, they rejoined a wedding party and may have infected a number of people”. “The state government feared a big increase during the Christmas and New Year festivities because of millions of people coming into Anambra State from different parts of the country and beyond, so it began early enough to issue advisories on how to contain the second wave of the pandemic.”
The governor described as embarrassing patients who “flout the Covid-19 protocols in the most unconscionable and callous manner, saying that Covid-19 is not just a health matter but, more importantly, a profound development challenge.
While urging the people to go for tests and possible treatment which are still free in Anambra, unlike in some states where some private hospitals charge between 5m and 10m naira per patient for treatment only, Obiano commended the state’s COVID-19 Case Management Team for exceptional professionalism and competence. “The team has not lost even one patient since the second wave. In fact, it did not lose a patient brought early enough for treatment. The 19 fatalities recorded in the state during the first wave were brought to our attention either when the persons were already or were too late for successful management”. “It costs the authorities and individuals as well groups everywhere in the world a lot of financial resources to build testing centres and treatment centres and a lot of money to train the personnel to handle the situation. In Anambra State we train not just doctors, pharmacists, lab scientists and nurses in the management of COVID-19 but also ward cleaners and ambulance drivers because they also have a vital role in the value chain. “There have been lockdowns in different jurisdictions of the world which brought untold hardship to people and businesses as well as governments, thereby arresting the pace of development”, he added. Obiano advised the people to comply with such COVID-19 requirements as constant wearing of facemasks, regular washing of hands regularly with running water and soap and keeping social distancing of two metres, so as to avoid a situation which can cause the authorities to impose heavy restrictions in the overriding public interest. He said that though the combined capacity of isolation centres is 500 beds, only five of the COVID-19 patients in Anambra State were treated at home because patients prefered home treatment.
Meanwhile, the Anmabra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, has advised health professionals in the state to treat “every case of ‘malaria’ as COVID-19 until proved otherwise”. He explained that the measure was borne out of the fact that some people treated for malaria later turned out to be COVID-19 patients, and in some cases it is discovered too late. Okpala stressed that a key element in successful COVID-19 case management is early detection which results in early treatmemt.