ENUGU, Nigeria – The State Government, on Monday, said several residents were yet to come to terms with the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, making rapid testing difficult.
This was disclosed by the commissioner for health in the State, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi during a joint media briefing with his information counterpart, Hon. Chidi Aroh.
Obi said Enugu now has a total of 1738 cases of COVID-19, adding that out of that number, “there are 296 active cases, 1421 discharged, and 21 deaths.”
On efforts to ramp up testing, the commissioner said though sample collection centres were opened in each of the 17 Local Government Areas, “response is not encouraging. Our people are not coming out for testing.”
While appealing to the residents to submit themselves for testing and observe all non-pharmaceutical measures, he stressed that “our people must know that COVID-19 is not a death sentence; it should not carry a stigma.
“Ramping up testing is very important; it will help in planning and for vaccines and other forms of response. Not carrying out tests will give us a wrong sense of relaxation and peace.
“Community spread is an issue now, that’s why masks are very important. We don’t know who will succumb to COVID-19 or who will die; so, we have to preach to our people to wear face masks; take responsibility by protecting the next person around you.
“The new strain is already appearing in Nigeria and information is that it is transmitted faster and it can kill faster
He lauded the health workers in the State, noting that “they have been doing very well in response to the pandemic.”