CONVID-19: Abia State sets up Preventive, management committee

By Okoye Chibuzo on 02/03/2020

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The Government of Abia state led by Okezie Ikpeazu today inaugurated a committee to manage the prevention of Corona Virus after a case was confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Lagos state.

The committee is also charged in preparation to handle issues around the reported outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The committee's terms of reference include launching preventive media campaigns, putting machinery in place to protect vulnerable groups like school children, identification and preparation of isolation centres in the state in case of any outbreak, procurement of test kits and drugs.

The Committee will also coordinate with state and federal agencies as regards the virus and ways of preventing and managing it.

The committee was inaugurated by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Barr Chris Ezem, at the Government House, Umuahia.

The committee chaired by Dr Joe Osuji, Commissioner for Health has the commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu,  his counterparts in fHomeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli and Science and Technology, Chief Chijioke Madumere as the Secretary.

Barr Ezem while inaugurating the Committee charged them to ensure that no stone was left unturned to protect the people of the state and residents from the reported Coronavirus outbreak as the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration prioritizes the health and safety of the citizens above other considerations. 
Barr Ezem assured the committee that the Government will provide necessary resources to support them in the discharge of its mandate without let or hindrance.

On behalf of the committee, the chairman, Dr Osuji, assured that the state ministry of health went to work early enough to put in place necessary preventive measures as well as the establishment of response protocols in case of an outbreak in the state. 

To show their preparedness, Dr Osuji stated that the ministry has already identified isolation centres in Umuahia and Aba as well as working on a third centre to be located in Abia North Senatorial Zone.

He called on the people and residents of the state to maintain a good hygiene practice.
He advocated regular washing of hands, cleaning of their environment and prompt reporting of suspected cases to medical facilities in the state as a measure to prevent and manage the outbreak promptly. 

He also informed the team that the ministry procured face masks and gloves for onward distribution to medical centres, health facilities and have plans to embark on preventive screening of people who visit government offices and other high-risk public places.

Other terms of reference for the committee include mitigation plan to prevent the collapse of trade and commerce in the state in the unlikely event of an outbreak, defining a plan to protect public places including schools, markets, eateries, hotels and restaurants. 

The committee is also to liaise with medical institutions in the state and beyond to coordinate response and testing as well as advise the government on any other incidental step that is necessary to contain the disease in case of any breakout in the state.


Posted on March, 2 2020

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