Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State on Monday disclosed that the state has recorded five new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Okezie made this known while addressing newsmen on the recent development and the state government’s efforts at combating the pandemic in Aba.
The governor said the recent development had brought the number of confirmed cases in Abia to seven, and the number of active cases to six, while one of the index cases had been discharged.
According to him, out of the five new confirmed cases, three are returnees from Lagos, while the other two are asymptomatic and have no history of previous travels.
“The circumstances of these cases have brought to the fore the need to re-emphasise total closure of our borders, and the commitment of every person, especially those we have assigned to the duty of manning our borders,” he said.
He said the pandemic could be tackled through the exhibition of collective responsibility in preventing further spread, and tasked the citizenry to show commitment towards hygiene protocols.
Ikpeazu said the fight against COVID-19 ought not to be considered a government business alone, explaining that the Abia State Government expects everyone to show leadership at family, community and church levels.
He said the government had mobilised its COVID-19 Rapid Response Team to move into the affected locations and local government areas to commence active contact tracing.
He said: “The contact tracing will take us to Ofeme and Afugiri communities in Umuahia North Local Government and Olokoro community in Umuahia South Local Government Areas.
“We want residents in these communities, especially those that have come in contact with the cases, to come forward and make the contact tracing exercise a little easier for us,” Ikpeazu said.
He said the state government was not deterred by the new recorded cases, adding that it had the facilities required to nurse the COVID-19 patients back to health in no distant time.
Ikpeazu said the state government was determined to, however, review the easing of its lockdown directive should the need for it arises.
He urged members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and all those involved in the movement of people and goods to consider the recent development as a wake-up call.
“Our decision to lock our borders is very serious and if we don’t take it serious, the state may be embarrassed by the number of cases that will infiltrate from elsewhere,” Ikpeazu said.
He added that the state government would not relent in evolving policies that would improve the wellbeing of the people of Abia State.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Abia State recorded its first two index coronavirus cases on April 20, while the state government announced the discharge of one of the index cases on May 1.