By Chukwuemeka Opara
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has bemoaned the explosion in COVID-19 cases in the state, describing it as ‘shocking and disturbing’.
Umahi made the remark on Monday during a news briefing after an emergency meeting with the Ebonyi COVID-19 response team and relevant stakeholders.
He stressed that all the cases were from returnees intercepted at the state’s various boundaries.
The governor said that between April 26, and May 20, the state had 13 confirmed cases of the disease but nine new cases were recorded on May 22, another nine on May 23 and two on May 24.
“We presently have 33 confirmed cases with six victims discharged and it should be noted that there is no community infection yet in the state.
“A breakdown of the cases shows that Afikpo North LGA has nine cases, Izzi – eight, Ishielu – six, Ikwo – four, Ohaukwu – two, Ohaozara – two, Onicha and Ezza North one each,” he said.
Umahi added that the state could not have recorded such upsurge in the cases if the various inter-state boundary lockdowns were working.
“Another problem is that we are ‘holding these returnees down’ at the various centres in our LGAs yet we have issues with test kits from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“You can’t hold people down above 14 days without testing and the Federal Government (FG) should do something about this urgently.
“These people can’t go to their houses to isolate because some people stay up to five in a room in the rural areas.
“We can’t do anything even if they are kept at the centres for 21 days so there should be enough kits to appropriately follow NCDC guidelines,” he said.