29 contacts traced to Anambra COVID-19 index case, on our trail- Govt

Anambra State Government says it is following up on the 29 persons identified to have made contact with the individual who tested positive to coronavirus in the state over the weekend.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala disclosed this while updating newsmen in Awka on the latest development on the state’s COVID-19 index case.

According to him, the contacts include the staff of the hospital facilities where the case was hospitalized, family and friends and business associates.

“Usually, our strategy in this kind of issue is to treat the patient in a standard manner and go after the contacts. We are making contact with the 29 contacts that met with the case. As at yesterday, my team is following up on the individuals. The facilities where the person was admitted have also been decontaminated based on guidelines released by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO),” he said.

The Commissioner who expressed surprise at the statement issued by one of the hospitals that admitted the case over the weekend concerning the case revealed that the hospital was not helpful when the government was tracking him after he eloped from the facility.

“On Friday, NCDC sent a report on the index case. We went through a lot of rigours to identify the case. When we got to know the hospital where he was admitted, I spoke with the doctors that were on call but was surprised that they did not know much about the patient. I took the name of the doctor that knew about the index case and called him and he was not in the facility. 

“It was the doctor who knew about the problem that confirmed that the patient had eloped from the hospital and the doctor on call did not know that. We started making calls and communicated the governor and the goal at that time was to find out where the patient was. 

“I spoke with the management of the hospital but no help was coming from anybody,” he noted.

According to him, the government had to engage any available means within its powers to identify where the individuals were. 

“It was not until about 3:21 am on Saturday that we identified the case with the help of technology. Right now the index case is in one of our protective care centres prepared to take care of cases.”

Dr Okpala revealed that with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union, the State government had as at last week, trained over 50 master trainers to handle persons with COVID-19. 

These master trainers, he noted, aside being able to handle the management of cases, can also train other health workers on the standard procedure.

The Commissioner debunked the reports making the rounds that the case was starved and dumped at the Protective Care Centre where he was taken, adding that he supervised the purchase of his choice of food as the patient said he was diabetic.

“I was the one who gave out the money used to buy him the food he chose to eat. After eating, he thanked me and I told him to always request whatever he wanted to eat and it will be provided for him,” the Commissioner said.

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