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Covid19: How Anambra Govt, residents battle to block spread

By Toby Chuks


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  • Individuals, companies, NGOs make donations to govt, communities

  • People are dying in silence – observers

  • Govt has to do more on solution, not just lockdown —Ezeanuna

  • Hospitals shouldn’t reject patients —Dr Ezievuo

Restriction of movement and business otherwise called lockdown is one the strongest measures enacted by the government of Anambra State to fight the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the State.

In the first instance, the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano announced the closure of all the markets in the State with exception of Onitsha Drug Market at Bridge Head and food stuff markets. Governor Obiano subsequently announced total lockdown following the report of an index case of Coronavirus in the State.

At the outset of the restriction, Governor Obiano provided palliative measures by providing rice, salt and tomato paste to people in the region of 70 years and above.

Each of the 179 communities in Anambra received 200 (10kg) bags of rice, some bags of salt and cartons of tomato paste to give out to people of 70 years and above. Knowing fully well that what Obiano made available are not enough to cushion the effect of the lockdown Ndi Anambra started to support the government with cash donations and materials.

ElombahNews can confirm influx of cash donations and materials from individuals, companies and organizations to the Anambra State Government since Obiano announced restrictions. The Oracle Today also confirmed that wealthy individuals are making donations in their communities through the traditional rulers and town unions to help their people cushion the effect of the lockdowns.

While communities are disbursing donated items to its people almost immediately, it is not clear to the people that Government is disbursing the cash and materials to the people immediately.

Food items donated and shared in Oba community in Idemili south LGA

Some residents say they hear on Radio, watch on television screen and read in newspapers as well as in social media that people are making donations to State Government but they don’t see where these donated items are being disbursed to the people.

Obinna Eze a resident of Nkpor told The Oracle Today that he reads on his Facebook page that a lot of things are donated to the people through the Government but he hasn’t read where and how they were given out to the people.

The Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria CAN in the State Rev John Ndubisi told ElombahNews that people are trooping to his office to make inquiry if government is reaching out to the people through CAN but nothing like that.

Rev Ndubisi noted that people expected that government would have used CAN as a platform to disburse some of the donated items adding that he has reached out to Governor Obiano on phone but Obiano told him that Government for now is given items to elderly people only and asked CAN to continue praying for the State.

When contacted to throw more light on how government is handling the donations, the commissioner for information C. Don Adinuba said that the cash donation in particular is being channeled to procuring medical equipments adding that the State need more ventilators, more dresses for health workers, more health workers, more isolation centre with adequate and more equipments to upgrade hospitals and community health care centers across the State.

He explained that the State need as many ventilators as possible as well as other anti Coronavirus materials pointing out that the anti Coronavirus dress could be used only once after getting in touch with an active patient.

He stated that there are about six different medical personal that meet an active patience at least four times a day and each time they meet a patient they condemn the dress and put on another one because it is not a wash and wear stuff. “The only thing they can use twice is the boot, other things are use and condemn.” he added

Asked how and when other materials like rice, noodles and other things are going be shared and how they are going be shared, the commissioner said that they are yet to discuss the modalities on how to share them noting however that Anambra has over 7 million residents.

Elderly women at Ogidi going home with Obiano’s rice

Another source from Government House in Awka confided to ElombahNews that items donated are likely to.disbursed through the communities with traditional rulers, town unions and women leaders as supervisors.

The commissioner said that the State Government is highly appreciating the efforts and contributions of individuals, companies and NGOs among others who have donated cash, food items. medical equipments and other things in support of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus in the State.

And like Oliver Twist he said hat Government is still appealing for more aids saying it is a called for help no matter how little “obele azu kpata obele nku, nnukwu azu kpata nnukwu nku” meaning the small fish fetch small firewood and the big fish fetch big firewood.

Observers say, people are dying in silence because they have no hope of securing help from any quarters. An observer and chairman of Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) Anambra State branch Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme confided to ElombahNews that people are facing severe hunger but they cannot talk because they have no hope of receiving help from any quarters.

The CLO boss noted that people in the city are the worst hit with the lockdown because there you larger population with families having as much as 7 to 10 people at home or even more with apprentice, house helps and all that.

Another observer and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Hon Zeribe Ezeanuna charged the State Government to go further in search of solution to the spread of Coronavirus and not just rely on lockdown.

“First of all let us bear in mind that lockdown cannot work if there is no palliative measure to really make people stay at home” Ezeanuna begins rhetorically adding “if you ask people to stay at home, you give them food and money to sustain them”.

The PDP chieftain who is the Chairman/CEO of Onitsha Holiday Resort and 2021 governorship aspirant observed with facts that lockdown has its own negative effects on the people such as severe hunger and instigating crime using what happened at Nkpor where one Ebuka Ajalla was shot and killed by a police man in account of enforcing lockdown and what is happening in Lagos where a criminal gang called
1 million boys are terrorizing residents.

Elderly man waiting for his turn to get Obiano’s rice

The 2021 governorship hopeful tasked the State Government to explore all available means within its powers to proffer workable solutions to the spread of Coronavirus in addition to lockdown. Parts of the means to explore according to him, is to consult with relevant stakeholders like the Medical practitioners, the traditional rulers, town unions, Churches and the traders and give them the opportunity to bring their own ideas on how they feel and what they think about the solution and how to source fund and use it against the spread of Coronavirus in the State.

In the meantime a medical practitioner and Chairman of Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGMPN) an affiliate of NMA, Dr Sylva Ezievuo has urged hospital not reject patients as measure to prevent contracting Coronavirus advising that medical personnel in various hospital should enact proper preventive measures instead of rejecting patients. Speaking at a Radio program monitored by ElombahNews Dr Ezievuo advised that each hospital should have a personnel that take the temperature of patients at the entrance of the hospital while the Doctors maintain distance of six meters while taking the history of the patients.

Reacting to the report that some patients have died following the refusal of some hospitals to admit them Ezievuo added “to reject patients is not out of place because everybody is cautious of being exposed to Coronavirus. However, I will advise that hospitals management should endeavor to enact workable preventive measures such as taking the temperature of the incoming patience, washing of hands, using face mask and Doctors also putting on face mask, hand gloves and maintaining the six metered distance while taking the history of the patient and if the symptoms suggest that the patients needs test for Covid -19 you refer him to the appropriate quarters”

Dr Ezievuo advised relations and friends to avoid visiting patients at the hospital adding that this is not the time to do that. He said that a patient on admission could only be allowed to stay with one person that takes care of him or her. He advised members of the general public to adhere strictly to the preventive measures as recommended by government and medical experts in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus such washing hands with soap and hot warm water, wearing face mask, avoid touching your face always and maintaining distance of six meters.

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