By Esther Nworie and Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy
Following the lapses and negligence allegedly displayed by members of a security outfit in Ebonyi state known as Neighborhood watch resulting to en Mass migration into the state which contradicted the border closure policy in fight against Covid-19, Governor Dave Umahi has ordered immediate reconstitution of the security outfit.
Governor Umahi made the disclosure at EXCO chamber, old Government House, Abakaliki,on Sunday 25 May,2020,
According to the Governor, he said Neighborhood watch will be dissolved on or before June.
In his words,”The Ebonyi State Neighborhood watch will stand dissolved by 1st June 2020. We have asked the LGAs Chairmen to ensure their salaries are paid for the month of may immediately”.
“We are reconstituting the neighborhood watch and we are asking the traditional rulers, president general, and head of communities to immediately come together and recommend for immediate deployment 100 neighborhood watch”.Umahi said.
He, however, approved the stoppage of payments of allowances to security personnel through their Service Chiefs but through direct payment of the security personnel on their duty post by the Monitoring Team led by the Deputy Governor, Saying that the same thing applies to Medical Personnels.
The Governor further added that daily routine register will be the basis for payments to avoid leakages and Compromise amongst the security agencies involved in the border.
As it concerns the increase in Corona Virus cases recorded in the state,Umahi gave the breakdown as follows:
The Governor announced that Ebonyi State recorded a total of 13 cases between the 26th of April and 20th of May and 6 have been discharged successfully,while on the 22nd of May, 8 new cases were recorded; 6 from Ishielu, 2 from Ikwo.
“The cases were all the people traveling from Delta, Lagos, Imo, and sneaked into the state through the borders”.
Meanwhile, 4 new coronavirus patients in Ebonyi state have been discharged from the isolation center at unity square, Abakaliki bringing the total number of discharged patients in the State to six.
The State Governor, Engr. David Umahi on Sunday decried none availability of test kits at the coronavirus holding centres. He appealed to NCDC to address the issue to make the job less cumbersome.
He said, “But where there are no test kits what do we do? Some of them have stayed 21days, so I think there should be enough test kits in all the labs so that we can follow the NCDC’ policy.
Correspondent reports that team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) witnessed the discharge of the four patients on Monday.
Dr. Majinger Ibeneme, Pillar head, case management of the NCDC in the state said all the patients at the isolation centre were stable.
Dr. Majinger acknowledged that the state government has put in place all the necessary facilities to combat the disease.
He said, “We are here because of the discharge of four patients. It is amazing the amount of work the Governor has committed in the fight against this monster. So far, we discharged two before now, we are discharging four again today.
“Every patient here are stable and Ebonyi state government committed a lot in building the infrastructure, they have also committed a lot in beefing up the human resources, they made our work very easy. When we arrived here, we just have to be conducting drills mostly because the capacity, the infrastructure was already on ground”.
In a remark, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike said the number of cases in the state has risen to 22 but that the state government was responding to the pandemic appropriately.
He said that males are more victims of the virus as they have greater number both in the cases of the virus and those discharged.
He said “we are here at isolation center unity square Abakaliki which was constructed by our dear Governor in respect to Convid-19 pandemic and we are here today precisely to discharge four cases being managed here and who tested positive initially and treated and now tested negative. The males have dominated because this is a disease that has to do with activity. It has been dominated, so expectedly, the males have also dominated in today’s discharge.
“I want to authoritatively tell you that we have 22 cases but the good thing is that whether we have 22 cases, whether we have 100 cases, whether we have 1000 cases that we are on top of our games and we are prepared to contain and respond appropriately because this disease is a very serious challenge to the world not only Ebonyi state. It is a disease that you come out every morning, you see new things, you see new challenge and you have to change your strategies and that is what we are doing in Ebonyi state. So, we are responding appropriately”.
Governor Umahi further explained that the state had delays in getting kits from NCDC, stating that they gave Ebonyi some kits but were not enough, stating that it is difficult to hold people for 14 days without testing them and called on Federal Government for quick intervention.