The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, Felix Onu, has revealed factors that led to the new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Abia state.
On Monday, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu announced the confirmation of the new cases of the virus after one of the two initial index cases was successfully treated and discharged.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Sunday, the state accounted for a total of 5 out of the 5959 cases of the infection recorded in Nigeria.
Mr Onu, who spoke with journalists on Monday evening, said he was not surprised over the cases, considering the breach in the enforcement of the government’s guidelines on prevention against the pandemic.
He said that the fresh cases showed that community transmission had been going on in the state. He added that all the contacts with one of the index cases at FMC tested negative for the virus.
“All the people at the hospital that had contact with an index case that was handled and later discharged went into isolation and later came out negative.
“The implication is that community transmission has been ongoing since the index cases did not have any travel history,” he said.
He further said that people from other states were still finding their way into Abia, in spite of the border closure and restriction in inter-state travels.
“Our borders are not effectively manned. There is the infiltration of people, even from the virus endemic states, into Abia, hence the fresh cases,” Onu said.
He blamed the porosity of the Abia borders, leading to the alleged entry of people from other states, on “sharp practices at the borders”.
He also alleged that many residents were abusing the ease of lockdown by the state government. According to him, many residents are skeptical about the reality of the virus in Abia.
“Many of the people are not convinced that the disease exists and they still carry on as if nothing is happening.
“They do not observe social distancing or use of face masks. They say they cannot contract the virus.
“This is unfortunate. People we know have died. Our medical doctor colleagues have lost their lives to the disease.
“So, people should be cautious and comply with the recommended guidelines to check further spread of the virus,” Onu said.