Medicine

Anambra COVID-19 Update: 8 patients discharged as scope of testing expands

Awka-No fewer than eight Covid-19 patients in Anambra state have been declared healthy and fit to go home.

This is after their post treatment tests for the virus returned negative.

This has been made known via public service announcement released by Anambra State Commissioner of Health, Dr Vincent Okpala in Awka on June 5.

According to Dr Okpala, Anambra has successfully treated and discharged 11 COVID-19 patients, out of a total of 14 confirmed cases in the state.

Of the remaining three cases, the commissioner confirmed that one escaped to Lagos, while the other two sadly died of the contagion.

The 11 patients, who recovered, including the index case was treated in the state’s Protective Care Centres and discharged in record time.

The battle against the virus has raged on in state government has deploy strategies to ensure its containment.

Having constituted and trained several personnel for COVID-19 pandemic and constituted Task force committees in all the communities, wards and markets in the state, the state government through it COVID-19 Action Committee and other relevant agencies, embarked on robust and aggressive search for active cases.

The community search programme in Anambra State has been buoyed by presence of new testing centres in the state.

This has been through an effective Public Private Partnership initiative between the state government and a private firm, a National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)-certified Accunalysis, Nnewi as a COVID-19 Testing Centre.

However, it is interesting to note that Anambra would soon expand the scope of testing for Coronavirus as the mega PCR Laboratory at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOTH), Amaku, is set to be confirmed as a Testing Centre.

“We have got the test kits,’’ declared Dr Okpala, the state’s health commissioner.

“We are awaiting activation soon. Activating Amaku has been NCDC’s priority because the machines there are among the best in the country that uses special test kits.’’

The commissioner explains: “there are five Abbott m2000 platforms in our MEGA PCR Laboratory at COOUTH Amaku. Each of these can run 94 tests per cycle.

“When fully optimised, you can get five cycles in 24 hours, translating into 470 tests a day per machine. If you were to dedicate the five machines to COVID-19 testing, you will hit 2,350 tests per day.

“NCDC is the only body authorised to import these test kits into Nigeria and it has a lot of challenges getting the kits because of scarcity and logistics.

“But for the determination and persistence of Gov. Willie Obiano, we have finally achieved a breakthrough.’’

Dr Okpala, then, allayed fears expressed by Ndi Anambra over purported reports on social media concerning symptoms of fever in form of tastelessness by some residents of Onitsha.

He stressed the need for Ndi Anambra to avail themselves of the opportunity of receiving quality healthcare by visiting hospitals for evaluation and treatment when they experience any of the worrisome symptoms.

The commissioner, however cautioned Ndi Anambra against relaxing in the face of the recorded successes in the fight against Coronavirus, as according to him, emphasis is on the need for everyone to be more alert and vigilant noting: “the contagion is still with us and remains very deadly’’.

Anambra state Commissioner of Information and Public Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba affirmed the training of COVID-19 Task force members in every market in Anambra, including Onitsha and environs.

He notes that the membership of the Task force, which had been drawn from the market community, local government, public health centres, the communities as well as civil society groups, have been very helpful with active case searches and enforcements.

“They have also helped to step up awareness creation for COVID-19 containment like educating people on the need for wearing of face masks and establishment of hand washing stations.’’

In a recent broadcast, Gov. Obiano had reiterated the commitment of his administration toward protecting the life of Ndi Anambra and indeed everyone resident in the state against Coronavirus and other harmful diseases.

As part of demonstrating his seriousness, he signed into Law, the COVID-19 bill to ensure effectiveness and enforcement of government policies with regards to prevention, containment, treatment and eradication of the killer diseases in the state.

Adinuba adds: “it is incumbent on the rest of us to take responsibility and play our parts. Please continue to observe all necessary precautions against Coronavirus.

“Wear a face mask in public places, wash your hands regularly and heed other medical advisories’’. 

Source: Anambra State Government