George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Anxiety has enveloped Imo State following the confirmation, on Saturday, of the first index case of Coronavirus by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in spite of a three-week lockdown and sit-at-home order.
The announcement of the index case has sent fear into majority of residents and this is compounded as the state government is yet to officially inform the people of the development with the commissioners of Information and Health keeping mum.
Imo State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association and a member of the state committee on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Kyrian Durueburu, said samples were taken from private hospitals and Government House for tests.
He, however, could not explain where the index case came from, saying it was only the state government that can reveal the identity of the person.
Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma, Oguwuike Nwachukwu, would not confirm the identity of the index case.
“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,” he said.
Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Dr. Kingsley Achigbu, who addressed the staff of the medical centre, said the index case was not a staff of FMC as has been erroneously speculated.
“I can confirm to you that a COVID-19 patient of about 45 years was brought to the isolation centre of FMC, Owerri at about 2:30 pm and a team of medical experts is managing the situation.
“I don’t know the identity of the patient but we have been waiting for his arrival and he finally arrived on Saturday,” Achonu said.