This was contained in a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Damaris Osunkwo, made available to newsmen in Owerri on Thursday.
Osunkwo who assured Imo residents of the state government’s commitment to their well-being said that the state’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners had already enlisted and started following up daily, the 37 contacts of the index case.
She thanked the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners for their painstaking contributions to the fight against coronavirus in the state.
She added that the patient was responding well to treatment at an isolation centre, saying that efforts had been expedited to seeking more of his contacts.
Osunkwo also said that all 37 samples of contacts sent to the laboratory had come out negative except the index case.
“The people should not panic over this turn of the event but be calm and committed to all the advisories and observances that have been put out for the purpose of control.
“Some of these are hand hygiene, use of hand sanitisers, face masks, social and physical distancing, avoidance of crowding, no funerals of more than 20 people, compliance with the lockdown order and remaining at home.
“Thirty-seven contacts have been traced and more contacts are being sought for enlistment. Meanwhile, the confirmed case is already in isolation and treatment centre where he is doing quite well.
“All the contacts being followed up have remained without symptoms and are self-isolating. We are escalating sample collection and laboratory testing and so far, all the samples sent to the laboratory have come out negative except the index case,” she said.
The commissioner, however, advised residents to report all suspected cases to the disease surveillance officers of their Local Government Areas.
She also advised clinics, hospitals and other public and private health facilities in the state to remain vigilant.