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Vincent Okpala, commissioner for health in Anambra, says five Chinese citizens have tested negative to coronavirus in the state.

The commissioner made this known at the state house of assembly, on Friday.

Members of the assembly had summoned Okpala and his information counterpart to brief them on efforts they were making to prevent the virus in the state.

The commissioner said the Chinese citizens were tested after the state’s surveillance and information officers alerted the ministry that the foreign nationals arrived the state from China.


He said the ministry is adopting preventive measures as the state lacks needed resources to adequately respond to the virus.

“I want to inform you that we have checked out all the Chinese in the state and they are free from the disease for now. We are on ground to respond to any eventuality,” he said.

“We are also in regular touch with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. We have put machineries in place to check contractors, businessmen and people coming in from the affected countries to avoid having the disease in the state.

“However, our challenges are lack of enough personnel in the event of coronavirus outbreak in the state, lack of resources for detection, isolation and containment. We do not have world-class isolation centre.

“So, we are making do with what we have which is why we are emphasising on prevention to make sure that Covid-19 does not get into our state.”

Don Adinuba, the commissioner for information and public enlightenment, told the lawmakers that the ministry has embarked on a massive awareness campaign against the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Reacting to the briefing from the commissioners, Obinna Emeneka, representing Anambra-east, said more more effort is needed in the area of creating awareness, especially in the rural areas.

“You need to do more by going on sensitisation visits to churches, mosques, markets, parks, schools and town hall meetings. Prevention is key and we need to imbibe preventive medicine,” he said.

Nonso Okafor, representing Nnewi-north, recommended the use of local languages for the awareness campaigns and broadcast jingles for better understanding by people in the rural communities.

He also advised the ministry of health to provide sanitisers in public buildings across the state.

Uche Okafor, the speaker, said the assembly will continue to support the ministry to safeguard the health of the people.

Nigeria recorded its first case on February 24. The index case is an Italian who came into the country for business.

The virus has been confirmed in seven African countries and at least 64 countries globally.







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