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Ihekweazu seeks sustained screening in Imo to ensure COVID-19-free status

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Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has advised Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, to create a facility for testing of patients to ensure that the state is free of coronavirus.

Ihekweazu gave the advice at the weekend when he visited Uzodinma at Government House, Owerri to inspect testing facilities in the state.

He harped on the need to embark on such an endeavour in view of the spread of coronavirus across Nigeria, stressing that it was not enough to claim that the state had no confirmed cases.

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“We are happy that we don’t have a case in Imo and few in the South East, but to be fully happy, we have to be sure that the system is sensitive enough to detect cases. We encourage that more samples be taken from patients with the symptoms and tested. If all come out negative, then we can be truly happy and sure of the situation.

“We will work together for a brighter future, but to get to that bright future, we must deal with the present and ensure that we win the war against COVID-19,” he said.

He, however, commended Uzodinma for being proactive so far to ensure that the disease was prevented from entering any of the 645 autonomous communities in the 27 council areas of the state.

Ihekweazu also urged enhanced and sustained awareness on precautionary measures to prevent and control the disease.

Speaking, Uzodinma said he was proud of the NCDC in containning the disease despite the hazards of the profession and urged the centre to establish a test facility in Imo to expedite action.

While expressing joy that NCDC was training some medical and health workers on the COVID-19 issues, he identified the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, which has a 200-bed space capacity as a potential isolation centre.

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