The Anambra State government has initiated an aggressive testing of its people for coronavirus which it explains is aimed at early detection of infections.
According to a statement today in Awka, the state capital, by the Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, “with the recent commissioning of the first mega laboratory at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital at Amaku, Awka, the only lab in the Southeast capable of testing up to 470 samples daily, we are now mobilizing our people more intensely to test for COVID-19.
“We are also intensifying our community search following Governor Willie Obiano’s establishment of COVID-19 Task Forces in the 21 local government areas in the state but also in all 326 wards, the first state to do so in Nigeria, as well as the government’s training of persons to collect samples from suspected patients in all parts of the state and send them quickly to the state teaching hospital in Awka for testing”.
The government said that its primary aim for the intensified testing is early detection of infections.
“If an infection is found out early enough”, Commissioner Adinuba continued, “the chance of successful management will be very, very high.
“Contrary to the thinking of a couple of people, COVID-19 is far from a death sentence.
“In fact, we have not lost even a patient whose status was reported to any of our relevant ministries, departments, agencies, task forces or rapid response teams early.
“All the victims were reported very late, in some cases when the persons had already passed on”.
Adinuba said early detection of COVID-19 attacks would enable government doctors and other medical team members to treat affected individuals in their homes.
“We have actually managed some cases at home successfully”, the statement revealed, noting that home treatment is in accordance with new protocols in the fight against the pandemic.
“Therefore, any person whose case is not critical can be treated in his or her residence if the person so desires.
“This is a good development because one major reason why a large number of people have all along refused to be tested for COVID-19 is the fear of being sent to isolation centres which we call in Anambra State protective care centres; the expression, isolation centre, is capable of depressing or demoralizing patients and consequently worsen their illnesses or conditions”.
Restating that treatment for coronavirus is free, the state government said that it is immediately engaging “stakeholders like religious leaders, traditional rulers, town union leaders, transport operators, hoteliers, market leaders and civil society organization leaders in the determined effort to get our people to embrace testing for COVID-19 in large numbers”.
Adinuba concluded: “Early detection will save infected people in Anambra State the agony of having to use oxygen mask or ventilator to get treated for COVID-19. No one who has ever experienced oxygen mask or ventilator can wish another person to have a similar experience”.