320 views | Elochukwu Benjamin | March 19, 2020
Anambra State Government has described Federal Government’s decision to place a ban on travelers from the 13 countries most affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and for restricting its officials from foreign trips to the countries until further notice, as highly laudable.
The ban is coming on the heels of the confirmation by the Nigerian government and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), of the, reported eight cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The affected countries include China, Italy, Spain, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, France, Iran, and South Korea and Japan.
The Anambra State Government in a statement to newsmen in Awka today, signed by the Commissioner for Information and Public Entertainment, C-Don Adinuba maintained that the ban is the right step to take in the present circumstance.
The statement read in part: “The people and government of Anambra State are keenly interested in far-reaching measures to mitigate the viral outbreak because Ndi Anambra travels more than any other people in Nigeria, if not Africa. They travel extensively to China, the world’s manufacturing capital, to import consumer goods as well as machinery and parts for their factories all over Nigeria and beyond.”
The statement praised the Federal Government for “not waiting till confirmed cases in Nigeria rose astronomically before acting in the overriding public interest”.
According to the statement, “in appreciation of the safety and security of all our people wherever they may be in the world, the Anambra State administration became the first government in Nigeria to issue an advisory to its people on travels to China in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak late last December.
“The administration has, in the same vein, ensured strict compliance with Governor Willie Obiano’s directive to all Executive Council members, complete with a table time, to visit major markets, motor parks, hotels and other places with large congregations of people in the state and speak directly to the people on how to avoid, not just the Coronavirus but also Lassa fever which is more dangerous and has been reported in our state”.
The index Lassa fever case involved a 25- year old female student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, who has since been treated and discharged from the Southeast regional virology centre in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The Anambra State Ministry of Health had swiftly got in touch with all her contacts in the university and her hometown and quarantined them.
None tested positive.
“Anambra state-observed World Health Organization (WHO) protocols in the management of the Lassa fever index case,” said Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, a public health specialist with the Ministry of Defense in Abuja.
Dr. Ibezim added, “Other state governments in the federation need to borrow a leaf from Anambra State.”