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COVID-19: No suspect is declared wanted in Enugu — Commissioner

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By Dennis Agbo

ENUGU State Commissioner for Health, Prof Ike Obi has clarified that the state government never declared any suspected carrier of Coronavirus wanted in the state.

The clarification came as rumour made the rounds in the state that some persons, whose telephone numbers were equally attached were declared wanted for having come in contact with an active Covid-19 patient.

Also read: Community Policing: South East governors at loggerheads with IG over implementation

Obi made the disclaimer, yesterday. when he commissioned 10 mechanised handwashing machines donated to the state isolation and strategic centres in the state by South Saharan Social Development Organization in conjunction with WaterAid.

Obi lamented that most times words are used inappropriately in the media, stressing that medical practitioners don’t declare patients wanted since they were not criminals.

“A patient cannot be declared wanted. That information has been made available to me and I can assure you that it is didn’t emanate from the state Ministry of health. So the information came from other sources that we are investigating and once we discover the source of that information, we will move in and correct the misinformation.

“Patients are not wanted, patients. What we do is that we have an elaborate system, where we go and do contact tracing. In contact tracing what we do is an interview and counselling and in doing this, it is to find out who may have come in contact with a covid-19 patient. We take information about them, find out where they live and give them all the advise and support that is necessary, provide some materials for them and monitor them until a time.

“Where there are developments that we don’t like, we will now bring them into the isolation Centre for proper care. Unless they manifest serious signs of contracting the disease, there will be no point bringing them to the Isolation centres.”

Obi further disclosed that so far, Enugu state has had a total number of 18 cases of covid -19, with seven active cases and 11 discharged cases.

Executive Director of South Saharan, Dr Stanley Illechukwu said that the permanent handwashing machines were installed to encourage hand washing as Nigerians cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, adding that times as now were not for individuals and corporate organizations to leave everything to the government.

“A lot of people can look inwards and find it in themselves to support healthcare in general. When we all come together to do things in common, we will be able to push this pandemic away. It will become something that will go into records the way Pneumonia, malaria was controlled.

“Let it be something we can manage, the same way we manage other diseases. All hands should be on deck. So let the people come out with support like South Saharan has done here with Water aid and Minister of Water Resources,” Illechukwu said.

(PHOTO: Enugu state Commissioner for Health, Prof Ike Obi testing the Handwashing machine at Enugu isolation centre)

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