Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has handed over to his Deputy and proceeded to an isolation centre after testing positive for the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, alongside 66 other Abians.
Information reaching News Express has it that the Governor has authorised his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, to manage the affairs of the state in his absence.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had last night (Sunday, June 7, 2020) announced that Abia recorded 67 new cases of COVID-19 and the Governor’s aides followed up this morning with the disclosure that the Governor was among the 67 confirmed cases.
Before now, Abia had only 16 cases which placed her 34th on the table of states with COVID-19 cases in the country.
But last night’s sampled results showed that Abia topped the log as the state recorded the highest number of cases by any state in one day, knocking off Lagos State which had consistently occupied the unenviable position since COVID-19 testing commenced in the country.
Today, Abia has 83 confirmed cases of COVID-19, making the state the second highest in the South East, coming behind Ebonyi State which has recorded 103 cases.
However, the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, said the result announced by NCDC was not just for a day’s test but had accumulated for about 12 days.
In an interview in Umuahia this morning, Okiyi said there was need to clear the air about the perception of many people that Abia recorded 67 cases in one day.
“I need to point out that contrary to the perception people has regarding those 67, those were not results from a one-day test.
“We have been aware of these numbers dating back 10-14 days ago. Indeed, some of the patients listed among the 67 have already been discharged from isolation because they have turned negative; they have returned second negative results.
“What happened was that NCDC did not announce those results for some time and by the time they piled up all our results in the past, it is about 12 days, they came to that 67,” the Commissioner said.
Confirming the status of the Governor, Okiyi said: “The Governor confirmed that the second test carried out on his sample by the NCDC laboratory, returned a positive result.
“I wish to assure the good people of Abia State that their governor is fighting the virus. We spoke even up to 2am this morning but he decided that it is important to let the people of Abia State know and that we also strongly advise our people to take personal responsibility for their own safety because COVID-19 is real and that the state has the resources to nurse individuals who might come down with this virus back to good health.”
He assured that while the Governor would be undergoing treatment, there would be no vacuum as the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, would stand in for him.
“The Governor is being taken care of by a team of competent medics and, in the interim, the Deputy Governor will continue to perform the duties of the Office of the Governor and we do not expect that there will be any lacuna in government,” Okiyi said.