The Director-General, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for being proactive and dutiful in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Dr. Ihekweazu who was in the state, Saturday, to inspect facilities on ground for the containment of coronavirus if detected was received by Governor Uzodimma who expressed gratitude for the work the agency is doing for the nation.
Governor Uzodinma noted that the coronavirus pandemic which is a global phenomenon has made great nations look helpless, expressing satisfaction with the level of work and success recorded by the NCDC despite the medical and Health constraints of the nation.
The Governor, who re-affirmed the need to test more people for the virus, called on the NCDC to establish a test Centre in the state to expedite the process of testing the collected samples.
Governor Uzodinma readily identified Orlu Teaching Hospital, which presently has a 200-bed ultra-modern Isolation Centre and other facilities ready to house as a laboratory for COVID-19 test.
While soliciting more support and help from NCDC, Governor Uzodinma urged the agency to partner with the state government in strengthening the system to be more prepared and alert in the event the virus finds its way into the state.
The Governor thanked the NCDC DG for sending a team which is presently doing a great job in training some medical and technical personnel in the state.
Governor Uzodinma who reiterated that he will continue to rely on the guidance of NCDC in the execution of his programmes in the fight against coronavirus called for the sustenance of the training of the technical personnel and solicited support for the Federal Medical Centre in the state, which he said is handicapped.
Earlier, Dr Ihekweazu commended Governor Uzodinma for his proactiveness in leading the response in the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Ihekwuazu said his team was in Imo to have a firsthand understanding of the structures the state has put in place for the battle against coronavirus, part of which are surveillance, case management, risk communication and other response components.
He noted that they will, in the course of their findings, provide whatever advice they can identify areas they can support and, most importantly, make sure that the state invests the scarce resources available to her with the one they can provide to make sure that Imo is more protected.
While thanking God that Imo is yet to record a confirmed case, and South East does not yet have many cases despite the fact that people from the region are known travellers, Dr. Ihekweazu expressed worries that more people need to be tested to be certain of their position.
In his words: “We are happy that we don’t have a case in Imo and few in the South East, but to be fully happy, we have to be sure that the system is sensitive enough to dictate cases. We encourage that more samples be taken from patients with the symptoms and tested. If all comes out negative, then we can be happy and sure of the situation.
The NCDC boss assured that they will have longer engagements with the State Government when the battle is over. “We will work together for a brighter future, but to get to the bright future, we must deal with the present and ensure that we win the coronavirus war,” he said.