~ Calls on citizens not to panic
Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has assured Abians and other residents of the State of his administration’s preparedness and determination to ensure they are safe from the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Governor gave the assurance while briefing journalists in Government House, Umuahia, upon his return to the State from Australia, where he went to negotiate scholarship placements for Abia students.
He enjoined Abians and other residents to adhere strictly to the advice and guidelines provided by medical experts on how to guard against contracting the deadly infection, including; regular and proper handwashing, use of sanitizer, avoidance of handshake, avoidance of crowded places, general social distancing among others.
According to him, “Corona virus is not a death sentence but an ailment that requires community effort to deal with. Everyone of us has a role to play in preventing the disease from coming to our state”. He further said that the State has no case of the virus so far and expressed hope that together, Abia will be among States that will remain free and survive the scourge.
The Governor who enjoined citizens not to panic also used the opportunity to announce the suspension of the forthcoming Convocation of Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), as well as immediate closure of the school and other tertiary institutions in the state as a precautionary measure. He equally announced the provision of
10, 000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira Only) each to ensure that the tertiary institutions in the state continue to hold online lectures and challenged the management of the schools to deploy appropriate technology to keep their students busy.
He further directed all public and private primary and secondary schools in the State to conclude their exams and vacate on or before the 30th of March 2020 and assured that the ministry of health will deploy necessary materials to the schools to ensure the protection of the school children during the period.
Governor Ikpeazu who assured that Abia is not panicking about the pandemic informed that the State has three ready isolation centers in FMC Umuahia, Spercialist Hospital Amachara, Umuahia and ABSUTH Aba, with a fourth centre for Abia North billed to be opened soon.
The Governor who had earlier inspected the Tele-Health Centre, where the State Government provided for patients to call from time to time to get medical support also applauded the ministry of health for providing thousands of hand washing buckets with taps, hand sanitizers and face masks for deployment in schools, health institutions and offices in the state.
Governor Ikpeazu was joined at the briefing by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Commissioners for Health and Information, Dr Joe Osuji and Chief John Okiyi Kalu respectively, as well as the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr A C B Agbazuere, Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Dr Onyebuchi Azubuike, State Epidemiologist, Lady Peace Nwaogwugwu and the Cordinator of Abia Tele-health initiative Dr Omas Ubiame, among others.