Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, the Abia Commissioner of Information, has reiterated the commitment of the state government to combat coronavirus disease and safeguard lives of the people of Abia.
Okiyi-Kalu made the promise in Umuahia on Thursday during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said that there were three isolation centres in the state which was an indication of the government’s readiness to handle coronavirus cases in the event of an outbreak in Abia.
Okiyi-Kalu said that the isolation centres were located at Abia State Specialist and Diagnostic Hospital, the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Umuahia and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) in Aba.
He said that the centres were fully equipped with the necessary facilities for isolating and treating coronavirus patients, adding that the Abia government did not want to leave anything to chance.
Okiyi-Kalu said that adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) had been procured for medical and health workers to protect themselves while discharging their duties at the centres.
He said that although the state had not recorded any case of COVID-19, the state government remained committed to taking exigent and stringent steps against COVID-19.
According to him, “the centre at Abia Specialist and Diagnostic Hospital was purposely built as an infectious disease isolation centre, while we had to get ready for a new facility at ABSUTH in Aba.”
“The facility at FMC is an old one previously used to isolate Lassa fever patients who have been readied to receive coronavirus patients.
“We have always made public the location of our isolation centres publicised the medical equipment at the locations and we are among the first states to disclose information on its isolation centres.”
Okiyi-Kalu said that Abia had a medical emergency contact number that would give one access to a qualified medical practitioner and the telephone number had been listed in the NCDC latest directory of COVID-19 state helplines.
He said that the state government had the resources to keep its citizens safe and to nurse coronavirus patients back to health in the event of an outbreak
The commissioner commended the people of Abia for their comportment since the commencement of the lockdown in the state and urged them to remain calm.
Okiyi-Kalu called for continuous maintenance of social distance, regular hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitisers as well as adherence to approved hygiene practices for preventing COVID-19.