Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, on Monday flagged off the coronavirus (COVID-19) community surveillance and testing program which is aimed at breaking the chain of transmission in the state and stem community spread of the disease.

Speaking during the flag-off at the Umuahia South Local Government headquarters, Apumiri Ubakala, on the theme: “Breaking the Chain of Transmission of COVID-19 in Abia State through Community Surveillance and Testing”, the Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government and chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19, Barr Chris Ezem, stated that the exercise which demands maximum support from the citizens should be taken seriously. He noted that Abia State is the first state in the South East to embark on such mass community testing against COVID-19.

The Governor noted that testing positive to the virus is not a death sentence as patients are being nursed back to health at the state’s isolation and treatment facilities while advising that those who test negative should continue to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols already given which include: maintaining social/physical distance of a minimum 2 meters, use of nose mask, regular washing of hands under running water or use of hand sanitizers and avoiding crowded gatherings.

The State Chief Executive warned that failure to observe the laid down rules will result to enforcing a total ban on social gatherings in the State.

Earlier in his speech, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Osuji noted that the virus which broke out on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China, has spread across the 36 states of Nigeria and FCT, hence the need for all states to take necessary measures to break the chain of transmission and flatten the curve as quickly as possible.

He commended the Governor for his efforts against the spread of the virus in the State while thanking the Chairman of Abia State COVID-19 task force, Barr. Chris Ezem for his coordinating efforts so far.

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