Ikpeazu bemoans two index cases in Abia State
• S’East economy too weak to contain explosion of virus transmission
• Enugu orders probe of report linking case with Jigawa
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday lamented that despite the proactive measures being taken to prevent coronavirus from spreading into the state, two index cases have been confirmed positive.
He bemoaned the fact that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed that a 70-year old woman and 72-year old man, who had no recent travel history, had contracted the disease in the state.
The victims who hail from Umuahia North and Ukwa West councils of the state, were however said to have been on admission for about one week at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia and were being treated of ailments the that did not include COVID-19.
Addressing newsmen at Government House, Umuahia on the development, Ikpeazu said the significance of the confirmed infection in Abia state that has been free of the virus is that the pandemic is real. He suggested that because the victims had no prior travel history, the transmission might have been community related.
Besides, indications have emerged that the economy of the South East lacked the required capacity and too weak to contain a possible explosion of coronavirus in the region.
This is based on the low revenue generated in the five states of the zone, which is unable to meet their recurrent expenditures and which make the states to resort to huge borrowings and reliance on federal allocation.
So far, the zone has posted the least number of positive cases of the virus since it was reported in the country some months ago having recorded only five cases. Two cases in Enugu have been treated and discharged, while Abia and Anambra states are still battling with two and one case respectively.
However, a development economist, Dr. Chiwuike Uba told The Guardian yesterday that claims that the South East has one of the strongest economies in Nigeria had not been supported by current realities, stressing that the zone had resorted to huge borrowings to survive due to insufficient revenues.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has ordered a thorough investigation of the controversial reports linking Jigawa State index case to Enugu State. Initial reports attributed to an official of the Jigawa State government had claimed that the index case developed symptoms of the virus after returning to the state from Enugu, adding that the affected case had been isolated for contact tracing, while another report said the index case was a returnee from Kano State.
A statement from the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ikechukwu Obi, noted, “The report of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Jigawa State, with alleged travel history from Enugu State is currently being investigated.”
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