Palpable anxiety has enveloped Imo State following the confirmation of the first index case of the coronavirus pandemic by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control in the state, even when the state has been on lockdown in the past three weeks .
The state chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Kyrian Durueburu and a member of the state committee on the prevention of the spread of COVID -19, revealed that samples were taken from private hospitals and Government House.
He said that he could not say specifically where the index case came from and that it was only the Government House that can reveal the identity of the index case.
Although, the state government is yet to officially inform the people of the of the latest development as tthere seemed to be some silence within government circle as neither the state Commissioner for Information nor the health commissioner have issued an official statement on the identity of the index case.
When contacted , Mr. Oguwuike Nwachukwu, Chief Press Secretary /Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma would not confirm identity the index case.
He said: “The NCDC has already confirmed that we now have an index case in the state and it is not necessary to ask where the person is from . The important thing is that there is now a case in the state.”
However, Daily Sun reliably gathered from a source in Government House that one of the security aides to the governor had contracted the cooronavirus infection.
He further stated that confirmation by the NCDC that the first index case in the state is one of the police security aides to the governor had created panic among the staff of the Government House as many of them who may have come in contact with him may have also contracted the COVID 19 virus.
“The realization that one of the security aides to the governor has test positive tobthe virus has created panic among the staff of the Government House and even among the security aides as well. Since the confirmation by the NCDC, fear has gripped everyone because nobody knows how many people that may have contracted the virus.”
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Dr Kingsley Achigbu who addressed the staff of the medical centre said that the first comfirmed index case was not a staff of the centre as had been erroneously speculated.
He said: “We woke up in the early hours of yesterday 25th April, 2020 to the obvious reality that COVID-19 is no respecter of physical boundaries as the first positive and confirmed case was identified in Owerri, Imo state. He is a 45-year-old man who lives and works in Owerri and is not a staff of the centre as may be widely speculated.
Continuing, he said the man was promptly admitted into the Isolation facility. “He is presently not showing symptoms and is on appropriate management based on the NCDC guidelines. The facility is equipped to handle his case. The essence of this briefing is for us to show more vigilance as well as fully abide by recommended preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, use of alcohol-based sanitizers, maintaining appropriate social distancing, avoidance of crowding, consistent wearing of face masks which we have provided for staff in the centre any time you are to leave home.”