“We recorded one new confirmed case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, 26th May, 2020, and an additional two on Wednesday, 27th May, 2020, thereby bringing our total confirmed cases to 10 with four discharged.
“One new confirmed patient escaped from a holding facility in Aba and is yet to be apprehended. All the active cases at the Isolation facility at Abia State Specialist and Diagnostic Hospital, Amachara are clinically stable.
“While the remaining index patient who is above 71 years old and with underlying medical condition has been declared COVID-19 free and discharged from isolation at Federal Medical Center, Umuahia,” Okiyi-Kalu said.
He said that the new confirmed cases were residents of Aba and had no record of recent travel outside the state, adding that it might be possible cases of community infection.
Okiyi said that the state government had commenced contact tracing within the locality of the new confirmed cases and collecting the samples of people that had contact with the patients to prevent further spread.
He said that the private medical facility in Aba where one of the patients was managed for other medical issues had been decontaminated and temporarily shut down.
Okiyi-Kalu said: “We are awaiting results for samples collected from contacts of the confirmed patients and will inform as appropriate when received.
“Our medical rapid response team will continue with ongoing case searches across the state while we await delivery of molecular testing equipment already paid for by the state.
“We remain confident that, with the grace of God, we have the capacity to nurse our patients back to good health even as we continue to expand our capacity to safely isolate and manage those who are infected.”
He urge the people of Abia to be vigilant and take necessary measures to protect themselves because the recent development had highlighted the evidence of the presence of community infection within the state.
Okiyi-Kalu advised the people of Abia to take the wearing of face masks very seriously and emphasised the need for it to be worn properly at all times.
The commissioner said that it was also important to observe social distancing regulations, then either practice regular hand washing under running water or use original hand sanitizers.
He called on the people to avoid stigmatising COVID-19 patients, their family members and communities, adding that the disease was not a death sentence and nobody in the state or country was responsible for the outbreak of the pandemic.
He commended the health practitioners working in the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 and urged the people of Abia to continually pray for their safety in the line of duty.
“COVID-19 is real but you can help prevent it from infecting you or your loved ones and help to stop the spread by taking personal responsibility,” Okiyi-Kalu said.