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Residents’ poor response to COVID-19 test worries Enugu government

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Enugu State Government has expressed worry over the poor level of response by residents to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in the state.

While briefing reporters yesterday on the state government’s efforts to curb the spread of the disease, the Commissioner for Health, Ikechukwu Obi, urged residents to go out and get tested to enable them to know their status.

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“This helps us to get public data that we can work with. If we don’t have correct data, there is no way we can plan very well for the population. COVID-19 is not a death sentence.

“We are not happy with responses from collation centres throughout the state. Our people are not coming out to test. There is community spread, but testing will help us know the actual figures and in asking for the right size of vaccines needed in the state for the disease,” he stated.

Despite the availability of sample collation centres in the 17 councils of the state, people are not volunteering for the test, he stressed.

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Describing the development as dangerous, the commissioner stated that the state was on the verge of ramping up testing across the state.

He stated that the sacrifices of the state’s health workers in the management and control of the disease were being threatened by the attitude of the residents who continued to disregard rules.

According to Obi, since the second wave of the pandemic, the state has recorded 1,738 cases, adding that 1,421 have been discharged and 21 dead, while active cases remained at 296.

Explaining that COVID-19 was developing new strains, he called on residents to continue to adopt non-pharmaceutical safety measures such as wearing face masks, washing of hands, applying hand sanitisers and observing physical distancing.

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“You don’t know who will succumb to COVID-19, so when you wear masks, you are taking responsibility for your health. The state government is doing all it can to reduce the spread and we will continue to do so to ensure the health of our people,” he said.

The pandemic, he added, has stretched the state’s health sector beyond limits, stressing that health workers in the state had not gone on leave in the last one year due to the crisis.

Also, the Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, explained that a lot had gone into public enlightenment on the need to imbibe the right attitudes.

He, however, said that the state government was not contemplating another lockdown, having re-opened schools, markets and other public places, but urged residents to support the government’s efforts to stem the tide.

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