Enugu records 3 new cases of COVID-19
…Ohanaeze youths warn against influx of Northern youths, Almajirai to S’East
…NAUTH, Nnewi dismisses rumours of death of COVID-19 patient in the hospital
…MASSOB laments hardship faced by people; Keke riders receive palliatives
By Anayo Okoli, Vincent Ujumadu & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ENUGU State has recorded three new positive cases of COVID-19 just as Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has warned that the Presidential curfew must be strictly observed by the people of the state.
The three new cases came on a day two other cases were discharged from one of the state’s isolation and treatment centres.
According to the State Commissioner for health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, “Presently, Enugu State has had 15 cases with nine active cases and six cases discharged after testing negative.”
Prof. Obi explained that “the two cases that have tested negative are case number 5 and her daughter who is case number 9.”
According to him, “The 3 new positive cases, who entered Enugu State illegally during this ban on inter-state transportation, are as follows: Case 13 is a 25-year-old man from Ondo State who lives in Lagos and made his way first to Akwa Ibom, then to Rivers State and finally to Obollo Afor in Udenu LGA of Enugu State, all within the period of closure of all land boundaries and inter-state movements. He developed symptoms while at Obollo Afor; the health authorities were alerted, he was tested and his result came out positive.
“Case 14 is a 38 year old male, from Okpuje in Nsukka Local Government Area who lives in Nassarawa State and found his way back to Enugu State during the same period of lockdown. On suspicion that he may have contacted the virus, he initially went into self-quarantine in a hotel at Nsukka. He subsequently developed symptoms and alerted the health authorities. He was tested and his test result also came back positive.
“Case 15 is a 28 year old female and a widow who hails from Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, Enugu State and lives in Lagos State with her husband. She recently lost her husband in Lagos and was able to smuggle her husband’s corpse back to Enugu State for burial despite the lockdown in Lagos State and the national ban on inter-state movement. Her action raised suspicion and the health authorities were alerted. She was subsequently tested and her result came back positive.”
The commissioner regretted that “these unfortunate figures are coming up as a result of individuals who have deliberately disobeyed the lockdown order and inter-state transportation as ordered by the federal and state governments.”
He said: “in these times, we all need to comply strictly with all measures and regulations and exercise restraint from behaviours that will put others at risk.”
Meanwhile, in a bid to tackle the illegal movements, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has warned residents of the state to strictly observe the Presidential curfew and ban on interstate movement, saying that no violator would be spared.
Ohanaeze youths warn against influx of Northern youths to S’east
Also yesterday, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth wing has warned against the influx of Almajirai and suspected religious extremists into Igbo land, saying that such mischievous acts would not be tolerated by Igbo youths.
Ohanaeze youths also urged everybody to strictly obey the ban on interstate movement and other measures put in place by the the Federal and state governments to tackle coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement by the National Deputy Youth President of the group, Dr. Kingsley Dozie, Ohanaeze youths reminded Nigerians, particularly Northern youths that COVID-19 is spread by moving people from place to place.
“We will no longer tolerate the sabotage by security operatives at our borders who deliberately encourage the movement of the almajirai, including suspected Boko haram terrorists.
“We are engaging our local vigilantes to take charge of the borders. Enough is enough. There should be a review of the circumstances surrounding the decisions of Northern governors to return the Almajirai to their states of origin this period of COVID-19 pandemic. We will not tolerate any Almajiri on the streets of the Southeast as they will be instantly sent back to the North.
“We warn all the security operatives manning all interstate boundaries in the southeast zone to adhere strictly to the ban on interstate movement. We are now positioned to checkmate the boarders by ourselves as we can no longer condone the sabotage from greedy and selfish security operatives. The lives and property of our people are very important to us.
“We will not tolerate any kind of almajiri system in the South East. This obnoxious policy seen in some Hausa quarters in Igboland will no longer be entertained. We will accommodate any Nigerian especially from the North and West doing genuine businesses in the South East, but anyone who has no genuine business at this challenging time in Igbo land will face hostilities from our people. Igbo youths will deal decisively with any street beggar anywhere in Igboland henceforth.
“We plead with South east governors to close rank and provide adequate security across the borders in Igbo land as the Igbo youths are now ever ready to partner with the governors in order to protect our people at this challenging time.
“We equally call on the Inspector General of Police and leadership of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to caution their men not to sabotage the efforts and directives of the Federal Government on the ban on the interstate movement aimed at flattening the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not banning any northern youth or person from entering our region but at the moment, everyone should stay in his place and adhere strictly to the federal and states’ governments’ ban on interstate movement”, Ohanaeze youths said.
MASSOB laments hardship faced by people
Meantime, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has lamented the hardships faced by people as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the closure of markets in parts of Igbo land had led to excruciating hunger and suffering.
MASSOB Director of Information, Comrade Edeson Samuel observed in a statement that many people could no longer cope with life after ten weeks of lockdown in Nigeria as a result of Covid-19.
While commending the Igbo governors, as well as political and opinion leaders in their benevolences and palliative support to eradicate the hunger and sufferings of the people during this most devastated period, MASSOB also appealed to the South East governors to relax the lockdown for economic, social and religious revival.
MASSOB urged Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to extend his fatherly gestures to the people by reopening the Ogbete Main Market and Coal Camp market in Enugu.
According to the group, the reopening of the two major markets in Enugu would reduce the sufferings of the citizens whose source of livelihood was anchored on the markets.
“The governor of Enugu State should know that he is the father of Ndi Enugu, including the traders in New Market, Kenyeta Market, Abakpa Market, Garki Market, etc. While other markets in Enugu have been opened for businesses, Coal Camp and Ogbete markets still remain closed.
“MASSOB, as a stakeholder in Igbo affairs, appeals to Governor Ugwuanyi to listen to the cries of the traders in Ogbete and Coal Camp markets. We want you to imitate your counterparts in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo States who have reopened all their markets fully,” Samuel said.
NAUTH, Nnewi dismisses rumours of death of COVID-19 patient in the hospital
In a related development, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi yesterday dismissed the rumoured death of a coronavirus patient in the hospital.
The industrial city Nnewi, Anambra State, was yesterday thrown into panic over the rumour of the death of an alleged COVID-19 patient at the NAUTH, Nnewi which allegedly caused confusion in the hospital.
The patient was said to have been taken to the hospital on Friday by his relations for high fever and malaria related sickness, but died on Sunday and his family immediately took his dead body away from the hospital.
The rumour had it that the death of the patient threw the hospital into panic as doctors, nurses and other health workers wondered why the patient should be admitted in the first place.
However, the Chief Medical Director, CMD, of NAUTH, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe, dismissed the rumours, saying that they do not have any case of coronavirus patient and there is no panic in the hospital as all the staff are doing their normal job.
Prof. Igwegbe said the patient was brought to the hospital on Friday night and she died on Saturday morning and the relations took her away possibly for burial or embalmment.
“When people started the rumour that the patient may have died of coronavirus, we took samples from the relations that brought her and sent it to NCDC and the results have not come out.
“We don’t know why people are always carrying false rumours and news over COVID-19. People have died of different sicknesses and will continue to die. Why is that of COVID-19 so special that every death is linked to coronavirus as if it is a good thing?
“We are doing our normal work and there is no panic in NAUTH or Nnewi in general. People should ignore those fake and false news merchants.”
Keke riders receive palliatives
In Enugu metropolis, Tricycle (Keke) riders, on Monday, received food items donated by the Enugu State Government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Tertiary Education Trust (TET) Fund, amid excitement.
The Keke riders in Enugu metropolis also received free 1000 face masks produced by the state government, using fabrics supplied and sewed by indigenous traders and trained tailors respectively as a means of socio-economic empowerment.
Similar palliatives were recently distributed to Keke riders at the three senatorial districts of Enugu State alongside the okada riders and National Union of Road Transport Workers, as part of the state government’s measures to cushion the effect of the lockdown on its residents.
Receiving the items on behalf of his members, the state chairman of the Tricycle (keke) Riders Association, Comrade Benjamin Ikah, expressed delight at Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s benevolence and passionate interest in the welfare of the people, especially the less privileged.
Ikah, who disclosed that “today is not the first day Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is remembering us,” stressed that the governor has been consistent in assisting the Keke riders to thrive in their business.
According to him, “We are always happy with this present administration in Enugu State. It seems we are always the first when it comes to what goes to the less privileged, especially those of us who are struggling to make ends meet. We cannot thank His Excellency enough for remembering us in this difficult time.”
In their separate speeches, the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Health, Hon. Sam Ngene and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Engr. Mike Ogbuekwe, who represented the Enugu State Emergency/Palliatives Committee on COVID-19 at the event, maintained that Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration is committed to ensuring that the spread of the virus is contained in the state and the pandemic does not adversely affect the livelihood of the people, most especially the less privileged.