Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has directed all civil servants in the state to resume work on Monday, August 3, 2020.
The directive was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Simon Ortuanya, in Enugu on Wednesday.
The governor advised returning civil servants to observe all Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols for the containment of the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
They include handwashing with soap, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, compulsory use of face shield/mask and maintaining physical distancing.
It would be recalled that following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the state government directed all civil servants in the state to work from their homes since March 23, 2020, as part of measures to contain the spread of the viral disease.
According to the statement, the state government has been paying salaries of civil servants, as and when due since the lockdown.
The Enugu State government, on Sunday, announced 115 new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the state to 675.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, stated this in a statement issued in Enugu.
He said that the confirmation of the new cases was contained in the update given by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Obi explained that out of the 115 new cases, 35 were confirmed on July 17, with the remaining 80 confirmed on July 18.
COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the state to 675.
He gave the number of confirmed patients undergoing COVID-19 treatment as 298, adding that 360 had been discharged after two post-treatment tests, which came out as negative, while 17 were confirmed dead.
The commissioner advised members of the public to adhere strictly to all the NCDC precautionary measures, saying “COVID-19 is real.”
He urged the residents of the state to call 08182555550, 09022333833 or the NCDC number 080097000010, if they noticed any COVID-19 related symptom or knew anyone who might have developed the symptoms.
The Enugu State government may impose fresh guidelines and safety measures in its efforts to contain further spread of coronavirus in the state. Insisting that this followed the rise in the number of infections, it explained that as at yesterday, the state had the highest number of cases in the South East with 418 confirmed infections, 11 deaths and 221 discharged patients.
It was learnt that the state government decided to await the final report of the state’s COVID-19 Expert Medical Advisory Committee (EMAC) on the escalation of the outbreak to impose fresh guidelines on the containment of the virus.
In its preliminary report released last week, the committee advised the state government to broaden the enforcement of the use of face masks and penalise defaulters so as to stress the importance of the preventive measures.
It recommended restriction of the scale, number and length of time for religious gatherings and other celebrations, adding that government should reconsider elaborate burial ceremonies of probable COVID-19 cases that may have died before their test results were released.
“We must ensure that in paying respect to the dead, we should protect the living. Burial rites, therefore, must be personalised for only immediate family members and not crowds to limit spread of coronavirus,” it said.
After reviewing the report, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had stated, “This would have been the right time to impose lockdown on the state. We are now being confronted with the virus proper and the activities of our people have helped in spreading the pandemic.
A top government official told The Guardian that Governor Ugwuanyi was saddened that in spite of his administration’s efforts, the rate of infections had continued to rise in the state.
The Enugu State Government yesterday confirmed 19 new cases of coronavirus, lamenting that with the new development, confirmed cases of COVID-19 have risen to 76 with five deaths, 44 active and 27 discharged cases.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ikechukwu Obi, stressed that COVID-19 was real and urged residents to continue to adhere to necessary protocols to protect themselves and stay at home when there was no emergency and wear face masks if they must go out. Besides, the state government shut down a health facility in New Haven following reports that some of its workers had tested positive for the virus.
The hospital, a Health Management Organisation (HMO) for workers of some corporate organizations and institutions in the state, was shut after its staff members had contact with a case, now spreading to other workers of the hospital.
As part of efforts to address the health needs of its patients and members of the public while tackling other challenges of coronavirus, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla partnered the Health-In-A-Box initiative of the Federal Ministry of Health to introduce a telemedicine hospital response service.
Chief Medical Director of UNTH, Dr. Obinna Onudugo, said the technology-driven support system enables regular patients to dial-in to access critical health information and consult with medical practitioners.