By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Enugu State on Friday evening confirmed two new cases of coronavirus.
The state Ministry of Health confirmed that two patients who voluntarily presented themselves tested positive for the virus.
A statement by Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Health, disclosed that the patients voluntarily contacted the ministry on arrival from United Kingdom (UK) and requested the COVID-19 test which came out positive.
“So far, the patients have remained in isolation and the Enugu State Multi Sectoral Rapid Response Team has commenced contact tracing.
“The Enugu State Government expresses her gratitude to these patients who reported to the Enugu State Ministry of Health following the announcement that all returnees from overseas in the last 14 days should report for evaluation.
“We still wish to encourage all those that returned recently from overseas to contact the Enugu State Public Health Department through these dedicated lines- 08182555550 or 09022333833.
“We urge the general public not to panic as health personnel are already positioned to respond to the present situation even as all should observe high level of personal hygiene, maintain the social distance protocol and stay home,” Agujiobi said.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it will completely shut down all markets as well as entry and exit points to and from the the state starting from 6pm on Tuesday, March 31.
The state ordered the closure of all land borders and inter-state transportation in the state till further notice, with effect from 6pm on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, except those on medical emergency services.
In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the state government also ordered the closure of all markets in the state, “no matter the size, till further notice, with effect from 6pm on Tuesday, the 31st day of March, 2020”.
The statement added that other categories exempted from the closure include “those dealing on food items, water, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and other basic items of daily domestic need who must comply with the standard hygiene protocol as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), including frequent hand washing with soap, use of sanitizer and social distancing”.
According to Prof. Ortuanya, “All local government chairmen are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance with the closure of the markets within their respective local government councils, without prejudice to the exceptions above.”
He appealed for understanding from the residents and citizens of the state “at this difficult time as no sacrifice is too much to save the lives of our people”.
The state government also directed the security agencies and the state Medical Response Team to enforce all the directives as stated above.