By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu
Awka, Jan. 19, 2020 The Anambra State House of Assembly, on Tuesday invited the state COVID-19 team to conduct compulsory COVID-19 test for members and staff.
The COVID-19 test for members and staff at the assembly followed the spike in the cases of COVID-19 in the state.
The speaker, Mr Uche Okafor, told journalists that the virus was spreading at an alarming rate in all communities in the state.
According to him, the test has become necessary to ensure that none of the members and workers is infected by the virus.
“We must all come to terms with the reality on the ground that COVID-19 is real, it is in our midst and it is killing people.
“This exercise is to show to our people that there is no harm in going for COVID-19 test because it is very important to know your status and take the necessary steps to stay safe and alive.
“The Gov. Willie Obiano administration is investing alot to contain the spread of the disease in the state and we need to support government’s efforts by adhering to the health guidelines,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Vincent Okpala, the state Commissioner for Health, said COVID-19 testing was key to early detection and increased chances of survival.
According to him, not knowing one’s status can lead to death.
Okpala said that the number of COVID-19 positive cases had gone up since the beginning of the second wave compared to the first wave where the state recorded one of the least number of positive cases.
“Between Dec.7, 2020 and Jan.19, we have carried out about 5,000 tests, as at today we are at 14,600 tests and counting, out of which 515 are positive.
“We are glad that we have built a system to deal with this pandemic but what we don’t want is to overwhelm the system.
“This is why we have increased our ability of getting people tested on a daily basis and we have deepened sensitisation across the state urging people to go for test when they feel the signs and symptoms of this disease.
“The test and treatment are free, call our health lines to get tested. Because the earlier we detect the disease, the better chances of saving lives, ” he said.
While commending the legislators for showing leadership by wearing their facemasks and observing physical distancing, Okpala urged them to take the awareness to their constituencies.