NCDC boss wants more tests in Imo State before we celebrate



By Sabi Onyenwe, Owerri

The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, wants more tests in Imo State and other south-east states to be sure the low numbers of positive to COVID-19 is real. Dr Ihekweazu was in the state on Saturday to inspect facilities on ground for the containment of coronavirus in the state

The DG however thanked God that Imo is yet to record a confirmed case, and that the South East was yet to have many cases despite the fact that people from the region are known travelers.

Dr Ihekweazu expressed worries that more people needed to be tested to be certain of their position. “We are happy that we don’t have a case in Imo and few in the South East, but to be fully happy, we have to be sure that the system is sensitive enough to dictate cases. We encourage that more samples be taken from patients with the symptoms and tested. If all come out negative, then we can be happy and sure of the situation”.

He continued, “we will work together for a brighter future, but to get to the bright future, we must deal with the present and ensure that we win the corona virus war”.

Dr Ihekweazu commended Governor Uzodimma for his proactiveness in leading the response in the fight against COVID-19, saying, his team was in Imo to have a firsthand understanding of  the structures the State has put in place for the battle against coronavirus, part of which are surveillance, case management, risk communication and other response components.

He informed that they would, in the course of their findings, provide whatever advice they could, identify areas they would support and, most importantly, make sure that the state invests her with the one they can provide to make sure that Imo is more protected.

The NCDC DG commended Governor Hope Uzodimma’s for the measures and efforts so far taken in fighting to stem the spread of the Coronaviru known as  COVID-19 in the state, this is as he has urged that mortests should be done on the people .

Gov Uzodimma noted that the coronavirus pandemic has made great nations look helpless, and expressed satisfaction with the level of work and success recorded by the NCDC despite the medical and health constraints of the nation.

He noted the need to test more people for the virus for the virus, called on the NCDC to establish a test Centre in the state to expedite the process of testing the collected samples.

The governor said the Orlu Teaching Hospital, which presently has a 200-bed ultra modern isolation centre and other facilities, could be used to house  a laboratory for COVID-19 test. He solicited for more support and help from NCDC, just as he urged the agency to partner with the state government in strengthening the system to be more prepared in the event the virus finds its way into the state.

The governor thanked the NCDC boss for sending a team which is presently doing great job in training some medical and technical personnel in the state.

He also informed that he would continue to rely on the guidance of NCDC in the execution of his programmes in the fight against coronavirus, and called for the sustenance of the training of the technical personnel and solicited support for the Federal Medical Centre in the state, which he said is handicapped.