By Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy
All combative measures adopted in the fight against the spread of Covid-i9 in Ebonyi State have continued changing stages and consequently, the launching of operation arrest all the returnees for proper examinations and tests for Coronavirus has kicked off at Ebonyi Council headquarters, Ugbodo.
This was disclosed to newsmen by Executive Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Hon. Mrs. Chinyere Nwogbaga during her meeting with the council stakeholders comprising the development centres’ Coordinators, ward councillors, traditional rulers, town union presidents and various leaders cutting across the communities and villages in the area.
The Chairman, who frowned at the rising number of the Covid-19 cases recorded in the state particularly in her council area, has charged the community leaders to vigorously embark on operation fetching all the returnees to the state for proper test before they would be allowed to go back to their respective homes in the area if tested negative.
Hon. Mrs. Chinyere Nwogbaga regretted that most of the returnees have been risking people’s lives by smuggling themselves into their home-state through border forests and bushes, stressing that the returnees’ sneaking into the state from other states have brought about the five recorded cases now.
She attributed the cause to the returnees’ ignorance and alleged poor orientation given to them in their residential states.
She advised indigenes coming back from outside Ebonyi State to always follow normal routes so as to pass through the State testing centre, Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium, Abakaliki for proper examinations and tests or stay in their respective residential states pending when the pandemic is over, instead of smuggling into the state which she said would speed up the spread of coronavirus to others.
According to the Chairman, “Today being 5th of May, 2020, having seen the proactive measures of our dear Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, which he put in place, to fight against Covid-19, the pandemic endangering lives of people in the country and other parts of the world. I deem it necessary to step down all the preventive measures to my Local Government Area to ensure that through this sensitization, my people get full knowledge of how to combat the pandemic.”
“Before now, we have embarked on series of campaigns and trainings to ensure all our people are aware and know how to apply the preventive measures against the pandemic. We have been going house to house through our health workers to sensitize our people, facemasks were shared to them, and we have told them the importance of washing their hands regularly with running water and hand-sanitizers to avoid contracting coronavirus.”
“We called the meetings of community and village leaders earlier before now. We have briefed them on how to fight against Covid-19. But having seen the number of Ebonyi people coming back home from outside our state, I deem it necessary to call for this meeting again, to tell them to strengthen their security measures in their different villages. Today as you can see, the meeting comprises the village heads, the youth leaders, the town union presidents, and the traditional rulers.”
“Why I involved the youth is that the security in our Local Government Area holds not only in the day time. We need to be security alert both day and night. And as the youth leaders of different villages, they have to be at alert to monitor the movement of our returnees. Their duties are very simple, it is a task on operation fetching out the returnees. They are to fetch out the returnees who might in one way or the other smuggled or sneaked themselves into their villages. They should notify the local government authority. Their duty is just to notify us, we will come up and pick them to stadium, the testing centre, for a proper test.”
“It is because our dear Governor has done so well. He has applied all the precautionary measures, to make sure that the fight against the pandemic in Ebonyi state yields a good result. It is true that five cases have been recorded. Precisely, in my local government, two people tested positive. But I still want to commend my taskforce team because am impressed with their work. Their proactiveness on their duties made them to be able to apprehend the returnees carrying the virus. Had it been that they smuggled themselves into their villages, it would have been a different story. This would be too tasking on us to start fetching the returnees and those at danger of contracting the disease.”
“As they were returning, one of the disease carriers was arrested at Ogbala Ishieke who was going to the extreme of our Local Government Area and the other victim was intercepted at Ishieke Junction where they were equally returning from another state by my taskforce team. The cases so far recorded are not carried by the state based indigenes, only the returnees are Covid-19 patients in Ebonyi. In fact, I commend my team of taskforce and all my four coordinators are doing well in the fight against the Covid-19. We work day and night to ensure our area is well secured to avoid recording the spread of this deadly disease. This is everybody’s fight to secure our lives and a healthy environment”.
The Chairman as well donated undisclosed amount of money and security torch-light numbering over 200 to the community leaders and security agents to encourage them to carry out their duties effectively in the area.