As part of measures aimed at breaking coronavirus transmission chain, the Abia State Government has mandated compulsory tests for all residents to ascertain their status for the virus.
It explained that the spike in the virus positive cases and the projected outbreak of its variant and second wave had necessitated the move to prevent the deadly respiratory disease across the state.
The Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, said that the government had considered mass testing as part of its emergency response to mitigate unexpected havoc the disease can wreak.
Ezem, through a statement he personally signed, assured that the Governor Okozie Ikpeazu-led administration would continue to put in policies and right measures aimed at preventing the people from all diseases across the state.
According to him, the government has set up Sample Collection Centres at the various Local Government Areas including Infectious Disease Hospital, Aba and Molecular Testing Laboratory at Amachara and all sample collections and tests are free of charge.
He added that the state workforce would still operate with Grade Level 12 and above and those on essential services would continue to work Mondays through Fridays.
“As part of the measures to mitigate the effect of the pandemic in the State, all Abians are required to compulsorily wear their face masks at all times. In addition, such MDAs and public offices and places are required as a matter of necessity to provide all COVID-19 Protocols particularly running water and hand sanitisers within their offices.
“Government also directs all Local Government Chairmen, Traditional Institutions, Leadership of various Market Unions and Religious bodies, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), etc to embark on Advocacy/Sensitization Exercise on Covid-19, and religious worship must be in line with laid down Covid-19 protocols.
“It is absolutely expedient that all Abians must take advantage of the ongoing community testing to ascertain their Covid-19 status. Our Isolation Centres are in operation and all our Medical Protocol Team are in place. The state COVID-19 Enforcement Team will immediately begin routine visit to public places to ensure compliance. Government directs all and sundry to observe the protocol of social distancing, hand washing, use of sanitisers and to take personal responsibility in order to save their families and loved ones.”