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A Special Broadcast On Covid-19 By The Governor Of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano On Monday July 13, 2020.

By Emeka Ozumba 
Chief Willie Obiano
Chief Willie Obiano
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Ndi Anambra ekenem unu-o!
I am here to give you an update on our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in Anambra State so far. As you are well aware, the Covid-19 pandemic is no more a distant threat. Some of us have lost close relatives and friends to complications arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. A good many people have been infected with the virus nationwide and our dear state is not insulated from this deadly virus. However, our best chances of surviving this global threat remain a strict compliance to the Covid-19 protocol.

Update on Covid-19 Cases in Anambra State:
Ndi Anambra, since the Covid-19 index case occurred in our dear state, we have collected a total of 618 samples and conducted 590 tests. Out of this figure, 101 were confirmed Covid-19 positive while 489 tested negative. We have 28 samples awaiting results from our laboratory. So far, we have recorded 12 deaths. But happily, we have a total of 77 people who have successfully recovered from Covid-19 through a careful management by our special Covid-19 medical team. They have all been discharged.

Ndi Anambra, the experience we have gained from managing the pandemic shows that early case detection and management play a major role in patients’ survival of Covid-19. Available data shows that all the patients who submitted to our call for early testing and treatment by our team survived the pandemic. The patients who have died so far were people who wasted a long time and reported their cases very late. It is therefore important that we all subject ourselves to early testing which will lead to early detection and management. Our Testing Teams have been stationed in all the 21 Local Government Areas to ensure the immediate collection of samples for testing. Ndi Anambra, Covid-19 is not a death sentence. With early detection and careful management by our medical team like we have shown, most of us shall beat the pandemic.

Our New Testing Facility:
Ndi Anambra, I am delighted to announce that our Covid-19 testing laboratory at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), has started functioning. The lab became operational last week. Already, the laboratory has run a total of 208 Covid-19 tests in two days. Each of the 5 machines has an installed capacity to run 470 tests in 24 hours. This means that when fully optimized, our molecular laboratory can run a total of 2,350 Covid-19 tests in 24 hours. That is very impressive by all standards. Ndi Anambra, with this new capacity, we are finally ready to take the battle to Covid-19 in Anambra State. So, in the coming weeks, our Covid-19 figures will experience some rise as we ramp up more tests in our new molecular laboratory. Ndi Anambra, when you see a sudden surge in the number of cases from our dear state, please do not panic because it is a major part of our fight back against the pandemic. Biko, unu atuna egwu!

Fake Covid-19 Task Force on the Prowl:
Ndi Anambra, I have been reliably informed that a group of criminals parading in fake Covid-19 Task Force uniforms have been arresting people and extorting huge sums of money from them while posturing as working for the government of Anambra State. These tricksters are reported to be very active in places like Onitsha, Nkpor and Obosi. I wish to make it categorically clear that the only agencies authorized to enforce the Anambra State Covid-19 Law are the members of OCHA Brigade and ATMA and other trained agents in our markets. Any other agency or group of people masquerading as Covid-19 Task Force on the streets of Anambra State is fake. And I want to quickly warn these fake operators that the Anambra State Police Command has been directed to search for, arrest and prosecute anybody masquerading as a Covid-19 Task Force operator outside the people mentioned. To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

Ramping up our Covid-19 Tests:
Ndi Anambra, we are at a stage where one of our most effective survival strategies against this pandemic is to increase the number of tests we do. With the help of NCDC, we have successfully set up a major testing facility in Amaku. We have also deployed enough specialists to collect samples from the populace. However, our efforts will be in vain without the cooperation of our people. It may be interesting to note that from the testing expectations distributed to every state of the federation by the NCDC, Anambra State is expected to have done a total of 115, 974 tests in the next six months. A breakdown of this figure shows that Anambra must do a total of 4,425 tests per week to meet this national average. Ndi Anambra, with our new molecular lab, we can surpass that figure. But we must work together to surpass it. That is why I am appealing to all the traditional rulers and all the leaders of the church as well opinion leaders to assist the state in creating more awareness on the need for people to go for tests. Ndi Anambra, bikonu, let’s go for a Covid-19 test today. It is the only way to erase all doubts and also the best way to ensure early detection and treatment.

The Covid-19 Protocol:
Umu nnem, it has come to my knowledge that our level of alertness on Covid-19 has started dropping. Most people no longer observe the basic Covid-19 protocol such as regular washing of hands, regular wearing of face masks, frequent use of hand sanitizers and strict adherence to social distancing. In fact, I have been informed that some people even hold lavish parties and other ceremonies with large attendance in total disregard to the safety principles of Covid-19. Ndi Anambra, we must not willfully invite trouble to ourselves. Be warned that the law enforcement agents will deal with anybody or group violating the Covid-19 protocol. The best response strategy against Covid-19 remains prevention. The imperatives of adjusting to the lifestyle change imposed on us by Covid-19 cannot be over emphasized. Umu nnem, we must either adjust our lifestyle and adhere to the Covid-19 protocol or face the dire consequences of reckless living.

In Praise for our Healthcare Workers:
Once again, I wish to commend the great efforts of our healthcare workers who are our frontline of defence structure against this virus. I have been reliably informed that our healthcare workers have since raised their game as the number of cases rises in the state. That is the spirit of Anambra. Dalunu!

Conclusion:
In conclusion, Ndi Anambra as the country relaxes the rules that were hitherto put in place to stem the onslaught of Covid-19, it calls for greater vigilance from all of us. In fact, now more than ever before, we must all pay more attention to the Covid-19 protocol as that is still the best defence mechanism against the pandemic.

God bless Anambra State
God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.
Willie Obiano
Governor