Following recent reports from NCDC, we were not surprised by the upsurge in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Abia State and we expect to find more positive cases.
The reasons are as follows:
1. Regarding the 67 reported in one day, we are aware that it represents the cumulation of positive cases found over a period of 12 days that were not immediately listed by NCDC.
2. We have seriously ramped up testing as a result of contact tracing involving the initial cases as well as the decision of the government to embark on extensive case searches across communities and institutions in the state. In one day we sent more than 390 samples to NCDC laboratory and that probably represents the single highest volume sent by any state in the southeast in one day.
3. We actually expect more cases to be reported in our state in the coming days because we are testing even more. As at today, more samples have been collected since the 67 was reported and we have gone after their contacts as well, and continued responding to reports from other citizens via the 0700 2242 362 dedicated line.
4. We are working very hard to set up our own laboratory, and once that is done, we expect to test even much more and possibly find more positive cases.
5. Substantial number of our people still have doubts about the reality of COVID-19 and as a result they keep exposing themselves needlessly to the virus. Many of them are asymptomatic and quietly spreading the virus unknowingly to others.
6. A lot of illegal movements into our state are still happening with trade and commerce being a major pull. While government is working out new strategies to protect our borders, it is imperative that our border communities and LGA authorities do the needful in the face of obvious law enforcement failures. It should now be the people of Abia State versus the illegal visitors, and hopefully we will emerge victorious and ultimately keep our numbers down.
7. So far, 16 persons have been successfully isolated and nursed back to good health in our state. The key reason for isolation includes the need to prevent further spread of the disease as well as manage patients back to health.
8. If you fail to submit to testing you just might be hurting yourself and your loved ones because only those who know they are infected can be helped or help themselves. Self medication is dangerous and might produce even more deleterious results than COVID-19.
Let us take responsibility at individual level and we will be collectively safe.