Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has announced the first death of a Covid-19 patient in the state.

The governor who made the declaration during a Covid-19 special broadcast on Monday evening said that the deceased, a 66-year-old man died as a result of not reporting early to the hospital.

He regretted the despite early measures put in place by his government to protect the state from invasion of the deadly pandemic, it ended up recording nine cases and one death.

Obiano said: "Ndi Anambra it is important to explain here that the only Covid-19 death we have recorded so far was a 66-year old man who did not report his ill-health on time.

"His case was reported late to the hospital and by the time his result came back positive, 24 hours later, he had passed away. Ndi Anambra, there is a possibility that his case would have been managed well if our Team had been alerted on time.

"I urge you to cooperate with our efforts to protect lives. People who hide their medical conditions run a high risk of dying from Covid-19. Please, let us bear this in mind."

The governor stressed that the rise in the reported cases of Covid-19 in the state was as a result of the aggressive case search mounted by the Special Task Force on Covid-19, headed by himself.

He said that following the success of the Task Force at the state level, the team has since extended its activities to the 326 wards in Anambra State for a more aggressive campaign against the pandemic.

Obiano reeled out membership of the Task Force at the community level to include, the Officer-in-Charge of Primary Healthcare Center, the Community Woman Leader, the Community Youth Leader, the Representative of the Ministry of Health and the Representative of the Civil Society.

He explained that the team will be headed by the Councilor of the Ward while the Local Government Chairman and his Medical Team will supervise the activities of the entire Team.

The governor expressed hope that the structure will help to ramp up more tests in the various communities and weed out the virus from the populace.

According to him, the setting up of Covid-19 Task Force at the Ward Level will play a major role in increased detection and reportage of more cases of Covid-19 in Anambra State.

He added, "So, while there may be a sharp rise in the number of cases in the coming weeks, rest assured that we have enough capacity to handle what will come out of the increased testing.

We shall continue to innovate and seek new creative responses to Covid-19 as time goes on

"As you are well aware, long before we recorded our Covid-19 Index Case on April 9, 2020, we had made some commendable arrangements that would give us a fighting chance against this pandemic. We have put together a 428-bed Protective Care Center to absorb Covid-19 cases and nurse them back to good health.

"We have made elaborate arrangements to fight this pandemic…we have fumigated all the 63 markets in Anambra State and distributed palliative materials to segments of our society. We have also continued to emphasize the strict adherence to all the Covid-19 protocol which includes heavy use of nose masks, frequent washing of hands, regular use of hand-sanitizer and maintenance of social distancing.

"Out of the many tests we have conducted so far, we have recorded 9 positive Covid-19 cases. Four of these cases are currently in our Protective Care Center. One of the cases was accompanying a corpse from Lagos to Imo State when his sample was captured in Anambra for testing. He has since returned to Lagos and we have communicated the appropriate authorities about his whereabouts.

"Three of the cases have been discharged and only one case has passed on."

The governor called for attitudinal change on the part of health workers who are reported to be hostile to suspected Covid-19 patients, warning that such attitude will not be tolerated in the state.

His words: "We cannot encourage any attitude that will discourage possible Covid-19 patients from walking willingly into hospitals to reveal their condition. I fully recognise the overriding importance of our healthcare workers who are on the frontline of the battle against this pandemic.

"It is on record that I generously acknowledged the efforts of the health workers who handled our Index Case and our two newly discharged cases here and assured them of some rewards.

"So, we deeply appreciate our healthcare workers but we must also discourage any negative attitude from them where it exists.

"We have decided to set up a Case Medication Team. This Team is made up of seasoned medical practitioners and public health officers who will deliberate and decide the best medical approaches to adopt on a case-by-case basis."

While urging health workers in the state to exhibit better understanding and empathy, he also enjoined them to keep to their professional oath.

He called on hospital management of all hospitals in the state to create an Isolation Room where any patient whose sample has been taken for Covid-19 testing can be kept while the result of the test is awaited.

The governor insisted that if a patient who is suspected of Covid-19 is placed in an isolation ward, it reduces the pressure the team will have to contend with in the volume of contact tracing that arises from allowing a suspected patient to roam freely.

He expressed hope that all hospitals in Anambra State will comply with the directive with immediate effect, even as he called for calm, saying that there was no need for panic.


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