…2 Deaths Recorded
By Esther Nworie
A school teacher who is also the wife to the Permanent Secretary who died of the novel Coronavirus last week in Ebonyi State and four members of the family have tested positive to the virus.
The former Permanent Secretary in the state from Ivo Local Government Area was reportedly dead last week, same day, a former Chief Medical Director of the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana-Afikpo also died of the virus.
This indicates that Ebonyi State has lost two persons to the virus, though only one death was recorded in the government’s health care facility.
Investigation revealed that the five family members, which included the late Permanent Secretary’s wife tested positive to the virus on Friday and were taken to the Elinwovu Treatment Centre, in Abakaliki Local Government Area on Saturday.
A community source who doesn’t want his name in print alleged that since Saturday, neither a doctor nor a nurse had attended to the patients.
The source who described the situation as ugly and the height of neglect, said, “It is not as if the State Government under Governor David Umahi is not trying his best to contain this virus, but the health workers are not helping matters.”
Speaking on the situation, the doctor at Elinwovu Treatment Centre, Dr. Sunday Ucha when contacted through telephone debunked the allegations from the family source that the patients were abandoned, saying his team had challenges of transportation.
Dr. Ucha said apart from mobility challenges, absence of testing kits constituted a problem to the fight against COVID-19, not just in Ebonyi State, but across the country.
He said, “We are just discharging people at Unity Square now. They will be attended to once we get there. Those that would have attended to them are here with me and the bus that should have taken them to the place, has not come.”
“So, my team decided to wait for me and once the bus comes, we will all proceed to that place and attend to the patients. So we need buses that will be taking health workers to and fro that place.”
“Another challenge we are having is absence of testing kits. This is not a problem in Ebonyi alone, but throughout the country. So, if you see anybody who has it, ask the person to come. The Governor is ready to buy. And so, right now, we are testing, but not with test kits.”
When contacted, Dr. Chris Achi the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Health also said the Government and health workers are up and doing in taking care of the patients.
He appealed to the people to always present themselves for medical checks when they are sick in this period of Coronavirus as early detection is the best way to fight the virus.
“Our doctors and nurses are there at Elinwovu. The five are not the only ones there and my lines are equally open to all the patients and I’m monitoring them equally. Anytime they complain of any challenge, my attention is always called to it and it would be addressed immediately.”
“The Commissioner is equally on ground and the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital is equally on ground. They are also monitoring.”
“We don’t have many casualties in this state, because of the way we attend to and handle our patients.”
“You may be aware that out of the 254, we have discharged 100. So, if they have challenges there, I assure you we are going to address them. I’m just hearing this complaint for the first time.”
“Yes, actually we have lost two Ebonyians to the pandemic. But I would say we have just lost one person in the real sense of it, because the latest casualty was not managed by us. He was being managed at a private hospital and, by the time we got to know about his situation, before we could do anything he was already gone. He was not under our care.”
“The most worrisome challenge we are having is that many people are not taking this pandemic serious. In fact, I thank the State Government for what it is doing. We are having many cases because we are testing. We are testing our people, that’s why it seems we have the highest number of cases in the whole of South-East.”
“What we are saying is that people should present themselves for the test and when they are sick, they should not seek medical help at private clinics. Accredited treatment Centres are the Virology Centre, Elinwovu Treatment Centre and the Unity Square. These are accredited treatment Centres.”