By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Don Adinuba said the state government had decided to establish a COVID-19 task force in each of the 21 local government areas.
According to him, each task force would be headed by the chairman of the local government Transition Committee, while members would compromise the Health Officer, the Information Officer, the Disease and Surveillance Officer, as well as the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Liaison Officer in the LGA.
Adinuba also the government had also decided to set up a COVID-19 task force in each of the 326 wards in the state, with membership to be drawn from the Ministry of Health, the officer in charge of the Primary Healthcare in the ward, the youth leader in the ward, the woman leader in the ward, the development ward chairman and the councillor of the ward, who would head it.
The task forces, he added, would take to the grassroots the message of the dangers of COVID-19 and how to prevent the spread of the contagion.
He said: “In view of the development, members of our various communities are enjoined to provide relevant information to the task forces in the LGAs and in the 326 wards.
“Relevant information includes the presence of strangers in their midst, the return of persons who have in the last two weeks been to states with high incidences of the coronavirus pandemic and individuals who exhibit such COVID-19 symptoms as dry cough, constant sneezing and shortness of breath.
“They may report such cases to their community leaders, like Town Union Presidents General and Traditional Rulers”.
He said that some people were already cooperating with the authorities in respect of the provision of information.
He added: “For example, the travel history of the second COVID-19 case was provided by vigilant and patriotic members of his community who knew he travelled to Kano towards the end of April and returned secretly to his base in the Awka Capital Territory on May 6, 2020.
“When he was tested for COVID-19, the result was positive, and he is now receiving medical attention in one of our protective care centres. His wife has joined him in the centre.
“His friend was traced and tested for the contagion, and the result turned out positive. He also is receiving treatment in a protective care unit.
“The friend of the second case is one of the three persons who tested positive last weekend when samples from 19 persons were tested at a private molecular laboratory in Nnewi, Anambra State.
“It has to be pointed out that one of the three confirmed cases is not from Anambra State, nor is he resident in our state, nor does he do business here.
“He was accompanying human remains in a vehicle from Lagos to Imo State. When he was given a form to fill on entering Anambra State from Delta State while his sample was being taken, he falsely wrote Anambra as his destination.
“When he was contacted after the result of his test came out, he confessed that he lied in the form.
“He mischievously switched off his phone and travelled back to Lagos. With the benefit of our sophisticated communication equipment, however, the Anambra State government traced him to Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, and the necessary information has been passed on to the authorities in Lagos State.
“It is necessary to stress that the tests carried out at the weekend are the first set of samples from Anambra State to be tested for COVID-19 in the state.”