By Ugochukwu Alaribe & Eric Ugbor,
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has warned the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Umuahia, and other private hospitals in the state to stop turning away patients with common cough and other ailments but follow the practice guidelines regarding the management of COVID-19 patients.
Ikpeazu issued the warning while directing the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji, to investigate a petition received from a relative of one of the patients turned away by FMC and reportedly died as a result of the rejection.
Inspecting the Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Ogbor Hill, Aba, which is one of the newly built isolation centres in the state, the governor assured that the state has the resources to nurse any COVID-19 patient back to good health and urged people who suspect they have the virus to call 0700 2242 362 for immediate attention.
He expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the site and directed the state inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19 to ensure that the facility would be fully equipped by Friday to add to the other isolation centres already in place in the state.
The governor disclosed that the state government had earlier set up three isolation centres in the state:; Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Amachara, Umuahia; Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Umuahia and Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, Aba; to manage and treat the unlikely emergence of COVID-19patients in the state.
He warned that the Executive Order signed by him on the management of COVID-19 makes it illegal for anyone to leave his house without wearing a face mask until the pandemic is brought under control.
On border closure, Ikpeazu disclosed that he has directed men of the Homeland Security ministry in the state to take primary responsibility for sealing the state borders while other security agencies provide support.
The governor vowed to deal with union leaders of motor parks in the state who are still allowing operations of inter-state buses during the lockdown.