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COVID-19: Abia Government Begins Mass Testing Of Residents

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From   Ignatius Okpara, Umuahia

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As part of measures to check the spread of the deadly novel Coronavirous pandemic presently ravaging  the world, the Abia State government has flagged off the community surveillance and testing programme in the state.

The state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, flagged off the program Monday in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, saying the process is aimed at breaking the chain of transmission and stem community spread of the disease.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19, Barrister  Chris Ezem, who stood in for the Governor at the ceremony,  urged residents of the state to always endeavour to observe all the World Health Organization WHO protocols and safety measures on the disease.

African  Examiner reports that the exercise took place at the Umuahia South council area headquarters, Apumiri Ubakala.

The Abia scribe, said that the exercise which demands maximum support from the citizens should be taken seriously, noting that the state is the first state in the South East to embark on such mass community testing against COVID-19.

Ezem, maintained that testing positive to the virus is not a death sentence as patients are being nursed back to health at the state’s isolation and treatment facilities.

He, however, advised those who test negative to continue to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols, which include: maintaining social/physical distance of a minimum 2 meters, use of nose mask, regular washing of hands under running water or use of hand sanitizers and avoiding crowded gatherings.

The State Chief Executive also warned that failure to observe the laid down rules will result in enforcing a total ban on social gatherings in the state.

Also speaking at the event, the  state Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji,  said that the ministry had trained frontline contact and sample collectors in all the council areas of the state with the aim of carrying out the massive sampling and testing of a target of 10,000 samples across the 17 Local government councils  in the state.

It would be recalled that the state Governor, Dr. Ikpeazu, was recently tested positive for the disease, but later became negative while in self isolation.


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