Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has described the death of three health workers due to COVID-19 and infection of 24 others in the state as frightening.
Umahi made the declaration on Monday in Abakaliki during a meeting with the state COVID-19 response committee, officials of the World Health Organisation and other stakeholders.
He attributed the development to carelessness and nonchalant attitude of the public toward the pandemic.
The governor said the people should learn to take responsible action to stop further spread of the virus in the state.
Umahi said: “You will see a husband that is infected with COVID-19 feeling that it’s the time to increase his love life with his wife and vice versa.
“Our people should know that no matter how much you love your wife or children, on the judgment day you will not answer for them.”
Umahi also regretted that despite the alarming increase of the infection in the state, people still have wrong notion about the disease.
He said: “People say on the social media that we upload the numbers to get money, but nobody has given me ‘one kobo’ except donations from individuals and the Federal Government such as rice.
“Every fund spent on this COVID-19 fight is uploaded into the state government’s website and is disbursed through committees.”
The governor noted that with the manifestation of community transmission, the state has to change tactics to effectively check the situation.
Umahi said: “I am putting forward several recommendations for your consideration, which include: concerted efforts to complete renovation of our general hospitals and embarking on house to house monitoring of people who show COVID-19 signs.
“We should daily identify them in our communities and send them to isolation centres through an effective community identification programme.”
Umahi said government has approved N105 million for the purchase of some equipment such as oxygen and blood pressure monitor for the general hospitals at Ikwo, Ishiellu and Onicha LGAs.
“We can also procure ultra sound, X-ray machines among others and station them at each of the three senatorial zones while the committee should meet and recommend the equipment we should purchase,” Umahi said.
Dr. Daniel Umezurike, state Commissioner for Health, said despite the surge in the disease’s infection rate, the governor and all stakeholders should be commended for the efforts to mitigate the disease.
Umezurike said: “We are one of the highest testing states in the country and stayed two months before recording the first case after the index case was reported in the country.
“We have tested 3,369 samples and despite recording a total of 503 cases, we have effectively managed and discharged 111 cases after they tested negative.”
Dr. Emeka Ogah, the Chief Medical Director, Alex-Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, suggested that aside the house to house monitoring, contact tracing mechanisms should be improved.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that WHO officials and other stakeholders also offered suggestions on ways to curtail the spread of the virus and management of reported cases in the state.