By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki – Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has confirmed that states in the South-East zone were yet to record any confirmed case of the dreaded Coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Umahi, who is the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum stated this at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
He said that the Ebonyi government had put in a number of measures aimed at ensuring that the virus was contained and prevented from entering the state.
The governor added that before the first record of COVID-19 in Nigeria that the Ebonyi government had built two quarantine centres in Abakaliki and at the border between Enugu and Ebonyi State, in Ishielu Local Government Area.
He said that the state-of-the-art Virology Centre in Abakaliki, built in 2016, which was donated to Federal Government for lassa fever, would be vital for testing for the Coronavirus with the necessary testing kits.
“For now, there is no confirmed report of COVID-19 case in Ebonyi and any state of the South-East.
“However, our government has put in place a number of measures to protect the people.
“These include shutting down of schools, night clubs, ban on sporting activities, wedding receptions, burial ceremonies and any social gathering with more than 50 persons.
“We have not shut down religious and worship centres, because we have not had any confirmed report of the virus in any part of the South-East.
“From March 25, it shall be an offence for gathering of persons other than essential service centres, including markets, rice meals, religious centres, banks and hotels.
“These service centres must ensure the provision of face masks, running water, hand sanitizers and must ensure that people entering and coming out wash their hands to protect them.
The governor assured the people that government would explore every necessary avenue to ensure protection of the people against the virus.
He said that the state would henceforth record all passengers entering the state from Lagos, Edo and all the South-West states to assist the medical team to monitor and evaluate their health status.
The governor, who urged residents of the state to imbibe best personal health hygiene, said that government would procure hand sanitizers and other disinfectants for distribution to those in the hinterlands.
Umahi said that the government had established COVID -19 team to be coordinated by himself as chairman.