Ebonyi State has recorded its first COVID-19 case.
Governor David Umahi stated this in a statement Sunday evening.
He said the patient is a 31-year-old man from Ukawu in Onicha Local Government Area of the state.
He said: “Today 26th of April 2020, unfortunately I wish to announce that Ebonyi have recorded the first Covid-19 index case.
“The index case is a 31-year-old man from Ukawu, Onicha Local Government Area.
“He runs a hire transport business with his Sienna vehicle which he uses to carry food items to Ore in (Ondo) State. Usually after selling these food items he will use the vehicle to carry passengers back to Southeast,” Mr Umahi said.
The patient, he said, had made two journeys this year, one on March 29 after which he returned to Ebonyi on April 1.
He said the patient travelled again on April 12 to Ore.
“While in Ore, he could not get passengers to bring back to Southeast. And he had to wait for sometime in Ore sleeping in motor parks and filling stations. And when he could not he started making his way back to Ebonyi State”.
“On his way he saw three Ebonyians that were speaking Ebonyi language. He stopped, they told him that they were going to Ebonyi and were stranded with no money.
“He called the parents and they agreed that he should bring them back and they would pay him when they got back. So he took the three of them and started coming back. That was on the 15th of April”.
The governor said they passed through many states sleeping in motor parks and filling stations on the way and only got to Ebonyi on April 20.
He said they passed through Ivo local government and made their way to Okposi in Ohaozara where they were intercepted by the state’s COVID-19 task force and brought to Abakaliki in line with government policy.
Mr Umahi said that at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium holding area where they were kept for some days, a test was conducted on them and the driver tested positive on Saturday while the three passengers were negative.
He, however, directed a second test on the passengers which came out the same way on Sunday.
The governor said that contact tracing of over 300 persons he might have come in minimal contact with had commenced.
Mr Umahi assured the people not to panic as the state government had made adequate preparations for such occasion.
He said the index case has been moved to the state’s isolation centre where he is being treated.
“He is very strong and is not showing any symptoms at the moment”, the governor added.
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