Emmanuel Ononiwu at Isolation Centre

The COVID-19 patient, Emmanuel Ononiwu, who was declared wanted by Abia State Government after he bolted from a holding facility in Aba is now in medical custody and currently at the isolation center in Amachara.

Mr Ononiwu reported at the Infectious Dsease Hospital (IDH), Aba, with his family, including his wife, at 8.05am today, Saturday, 30th May, 2020, and was moved by a state rapid response ambulance to the Abia State Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, Amachara, Umuahia, for isolation and management.

Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State said: “Samples will be collected from his wife and other family members for testing while active contract tracing has commenced.

“To remove any possible doubt, we are taking the unprecedented step of publishing the pictures of Emmanuel Ononiwu taken from his place of isolation at Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Amachara.

“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t want to do this because of medical privacy issues but due to the public interest generated by his ill advised personal decision to bolt from a holding location after testing positive to COVID-19 it is of overriding public interest that we pictorially confirm he is in medical isolation and no longer constitutes a public health risk.

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“Mr Ononiwu is being well taken care of and will not suffer any further consequences for his initial lack of good judgement which possibly happened because he was scared. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has personally directed the medical management team of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19 to avail him of the best possible care with a view to ensuring that he recovers fully as soon as possible.

“Contact tracing is in full swing.

“We strongly urge our people to end stigmatization of COVID-19 patients as that act is mostly responsible for the fear to report suspected cases and accept test results. COVID-19 is not a death sentence and many are recovering from it including 5 persons already discharged from our Isolation center located at Amachara and two others discharged from FMC Umuahia.

“Members of our medical response team are well trained to handle issues around the disease from sample collection all the way through patients’ management to full recovery. Most importantly, God is faithful to the good people of Abia State and will see us through this trying period and going forward.

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“COVID-19 is REAL but you can help protect yourself and family members by abiding by all the issued guidelines including compulsory wearing of face mask before leaving your home, washing your hands regularly with soap under running water and maintaining social distance.

“Meanwhile, three patients who are currently at the isolation center, including the 19 years old man from Afugiri, Umuahia, 30 years old man from Ofeme, Umuahia, and the Olokoro Umuahia returnee from Lagos who came to plan the burial of a relation who died in Kano are set to be released this morning after testing negative to the virus two consecutive times,” Chief Okiyi said.

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