In order to avoid spread, Abia State Government on Friday said it had traced 209 contacts of the two index coronavirus cases in the state and placed them under surveillance in an isolation facility.
Abia Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Umuahia.
Okiyi-Kalu said the Abia Rapid Response Team, the Medical Protocol Sub-committee of Abia Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, and the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Umuahia, were tracing other contacts of the index cases.
He said that the contact tracing would continue and would be focused on Ikwuano, Ukwa West and Umuahia North Local Government Areas of the state.
“All the medical personnel involved in the management of the patients and their family members are currently in isolation with samples already collected from some of them for testing.
“We are awaiting results for the suspected cases. A team from the World Health Organisation (WHO) is providing support,” he said.
Okiyi-Kalu said that the two index cases were septuagenarians and had underlying medical conditions – diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and left ventricular failure.
According to him, the index cases are stable and receiving care at the isolation centre at FMC, Umuahia.
Okiyi-Kalu noted that one of the patients, previously on oxygen support, was breathing well now without any respiratory aid.
The commissioner advised residents of the state to continually observe all the guidelines issued by the NCDC and the state’s inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19.
He said the guidelines were the use of face masks and hand sanitisers, regular handwashing with soap under running water, social distancing, and leaving the house only to buy food and drugs.
He said, “COVID-19 is real; stay safe for yourself and your loved ones as we do not know who may have been infected.”
Okiyi-Kalu urged the people to ensure that they obeyed the lockdown order, especially with the ongoing index cases contact tracing in the state.
He said that law enforcement agencies would prosecute defaulters in the mobile courts and in line with the Abia State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.