The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu; his wife, Nkechi Ikpeazu; their children; and all members of the Abia State first family have tested negative to COVID-19.
This followed the release of results of their samples taken on May 30, 2020, occasioned by the death of the State’s Commissioner for the Environment and member of the state’s Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Solomon Ogunji.
A statement to that effect, personally signed by Governor Ikpeazu, said: “Leading this battle from the front as your Governor, I and all members of the first family subjected ourselves to COVID-19 tests on Saturday, 30th May, 2020 and the results came out negative today.
“Unfortunately, results of two of my aides who also subjected themselves to COVID-19 tests were positive while others turned in negative results. We are confident that within days, the currently asymptomatic positive patients who are now isolated will be successfully nursed back to good health, with God on our side.
“The new phase of the fight against COVID-19 in Abia will require that the state embark on massive tests of citizens to achieve at least 10% coverage of our population at the initial stage of the exercise.
“To this end, the state epidemiologist has been directed to work out modalities for case searches using sample population size of between 30 to 250 persons, in some densely populated LGAs of the state.
“Meanwhile, we cannot win and save lives as long as we continue to stigmatize our patients. If any person contracts COVID-19, it will be saddening but it is neither criminal nor is it necessarily the person’s fault. Let me put it on record that statistics show that far more people recover from the virus than those who pass away from it.”
Governor Ikpeazu has also directed all Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas of the State and their deputies to present themselves for COVID-19 test.
He said: “Further to my earlier directive on the testing of members of the State Executive Council, I wish to direct that all Transition Council Chairmen of our 17 LGAs, and their Deputies, present themselves for COVID-19 tests and thereafter isolate themselves pending the release of their test results.
“I urge all citizens and residents to eschew rumour mongering and get involved in the battle against COVID-19. Take responsibility because Abia is ready to win this battle with all hands on deck.”