A former permanent secretary in Ebonyi state has died of coronavirus disease, even as his wife and four children have tested positive to the virus.
The deceased who was from Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State, contacted the disease and died on June 16, 2020.
His family members were tested after the death of the man and on Friday their results came out positive and they were moved to Elinwovu Treatment Centre, in Abakaliki local government area.
According to a family member of the deceased who didn’t want his name on print, said since Friday they got to the isolation center they have not been attended to by any doctor or nurse.
He said despite state government’s effort to contain the spread of the virus and cater for patients, that the health workers at the centers were not helping matters as they have failed to discharge their duties diligently.
When contacted on telephone, Dr. Sunday Ucha, the medical doctor in charge of Elinwovu Treatment Centre, maintained that the patients were not abandoned, stressing that his team had challenges of transportation.
He also lamented the absence of testing kits in the center which he said was a setback in their fight against the dreaded virus in the state and country at large.
He said, “We are just discharging people at Unity Square now. They will be attended to once we get there. Those that would have attended to them are here with me and the bus that should have taken them to the place, has not come.
“So, my team decided to wait for me and once the bus comes, we will all proceed to that place and attend to the patients. So we need buses that will be taking health workers to and fro that place.
“Another challenge we are having is absence of testing kits. This is not a problem in Ebonyi alone, but throughout the country. So, if you see anybody who has the testing kits, ask the person to come. The Governor is ready to buy. Right now, we are testing, but not with test kits.”
In his reaction, the Permanent Secretary in the State’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Chris Achi, on Monday said there are nurses and doctors at the treatment center who are attending to patients
He said, “Our doctors and nurses are there at Elinwovu. The five are not the only ones there and my lines are equally open to all the patients and I’m monitoring them equally. Anytime they complain of any challenge, my attention is always called to it and it would be addressed Immediately.
“The Commissioner is equally on ground and the Chief Medical Director of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital is equally on ground. They are also monitoring.
“We have not had many casualties in this state, because of the way we attend to and handle our patients.
“You may be aware that out of the 254, we have discharged 100 and something who have been treated and treated and they are all okay. So if they have challenges there, I assure you we are going to address them. I’m just hearing this complaint for the first time.
“Yes, actually we have lost two Ebonyians to the pandemic. But I would say we have just lost one person in the real sense of it, because the latest casualty was not managed by us. He was being managed at a private hospital and, by the time we got to know about his situation, before we could do anything he was already gone. He was not under our care.
“The most worrisome challenge we are having is that many people are not taking this pandemic serious. In fact, I thank the State Government for what he is doing. We are having many cases because we are testing our people that’s why it seems we have the highest number of cases in the whole of South-East.
“What we are saying is that people should present themselves for the testing and when they are sick, they should not seek medical help at private clinics. Accredited treatment Centres are the Virology Centre, Elinwovu Treatment Centre and the Unity Square. These are accredited treatment Centres.”