By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki – Ebonyi Government says no health worker is among the 182 cases of the coronavirus infections recorded in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezuruike, disclosed this on Tuesday, during a training organised by the health ministry, in conjunction with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Tne training was organised for personnel of the 39 quarantine centres across the state.
Umezurike said the various professional trainings organised for the frontline (high-level) health workers, ensured that they remained free from the disease despite the 182 cases recorded in the state.
“We also organised such high level trainings for middle and low level manpower involved in the fight against the disease and this is our intention for all personnel at the various quarantine centres,” he said.
The commissioner said the state initially had a central quarantine center at the Pa Ngele Oruta Hospital, Abakaliki, and when the state recorded an influx of returnees, the centre became ‘over-stretched’.
“The returnees were tested and quarantined and those who tested negative were kept at the centre for 14 days and were tested again.
“The over-stretched nature of the centre made it unsafe for everyone and the governor in his wisdom, decided to decentralise the centres.
“We at present have three quarantine centres in three Development Centres (DC) of the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.
“This means that the LGA Chairmen, DC coordinators and all relevant personnel are involved in managing the quarantine centres.
“They all stand the risk of being infected if not properly trained and this forms the main essence of the training,” he said.
He said that the current industrial action embarked by resident doctors in the country would not affect the management of COVID-19 cases in the state as it adequately prepared for any eventuality.
“The state COVID-19 response team drawn from various levels of the healthcare system, signed an indemnity to care for victims in all situations while the state government fulfills its obligations in the indemnity,” he said.
Dr Sophia Usuwa, Leader of the NCDC Rapid Response Team in Ebonyi, said that the team was adequately supporting the state in its fight against the deadly disease.
“The essence of the programme is to train a critical workforce of personnel involved in the management of the disease in the areas of surveillance and quarantine of individuals picked from various points.
“We expect that the state will at the end of the training, amass a critical number of well trained workforce particularly in the context of the quarantine facility and transportation of cases.
“They will ensure that the quarantine facilities are safe for the ‘passengers of interest’ as workers such as the hygienists, food vendors and security personnel, among others will be trained alongside the council and DC workers,” she said.
Usuwa said that the NCDC response team had been in the state for over seven weeks and had built a structure which would enable the state to take ownership of the management ofthe decease.
Mr Sunday Agbo, the Coordinator of Effium DC of Ohaukwu LGA, thanked the organisers of the training for providing such an opportunity, and pledged to ‘step down’ the knowledge acquired from it.