Revealed!: How first Ebonyi Covid-19 patient made contact with 300 people

The first index case of Covid-19 in Ebonyi state, a 31-year-old commercial driver from Ukawu, Onicha Local Government Area (LGA) made contact with 300 people.

While addressing Nigerians, Sunday night, April 26, watched by Blueprint Correspondent, the governor of the state, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, said the yet-to-be-named index case came into Ebonyi state from Ore, a town in Odigbo LGA of Ondo state, but was detected and subsequently isolated.

He said: “The first COVID-19 index case is a 31 year old man from Ukawu in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He rides a hire purchase business with his Sienna vehicle, which he uses to carry food items to Ore in Ondo state. Usually, after selling his food items, he uses his vehicle to carry passengers back to South East. 

“He has made two journeys this year: one on 29th of March and returned to Ebonyi on 1st of April. Second one was at about 12th Of April. While in Ore, he couldn’t get passengers to bring back to the South East, so he had to wait for sometime in Ore, sleeping in motor parks and filling stations. When he couldn’t get passengers, he started making his way back to South East.

“However, on his way, he saw three Ebonyians that were speaking Ebonyi language and had to stop. They told him that they were going back to Ebonyi State, but were stranded.

“They called their parents and the parents agreed that he should bring them back, that they will pay him while in Ebonyi State. He picked the three Ebonyians and they started coming back…that was about 15th of April, till about the 24th of April, when they got to the border of Ebonyi State.

“From his account, they were sleeping in filling stations and parks, while making their way back to Ebonyi State. He wangled his way through the border, passed through Ivo LGA, through Afikpo North LGA and to Okposi In Ohaozara LGA in Ebonyi State, when the chairman of the LGA and his team caught him. 

“First, they dragged them to Okposi Police Post and then, because of our policy in the state, which is that when any Ebonyi man had gotten to the border, there is nothing you will do that he will not get into the state. So, the police station in Okposi and some Neighborhood Watch now took him to the stadium, where the medical team, and some security agencies are and other returnees. A test was conducted on him and it came positive, but the three others came out negative.

“When I was told last night, I directed that they should repeat the test this morning on the other three passengers that he carried and they still came out negative, but we have Isolated him..We won’t punish anyone who found his way through our borders. However, the person should present himself for testing; for his own safety. 

“The first index case made contact with about 300 people, though not physical contact. However, to be on the safe side, we have directed that the 300 people, within the next two days, should be tested, so that, if they’re OK, they can go back to their homes. Ebonyians have nothing to fear because this young man that tested positive did not make physical contact anybody, as I stated above.

“However, for the avoidance of doubt, I wish to appeal that anybody, who made any contact with him, without our knowledge, should report to the stadium at the capital city so that he/she will be tested. All we desire is to get Ebonyians coming into the state to be tested for their good and for the good of everybody.

“We are not arresting anybody. We are not punishing anybody. The people at the centre are treated well and fed daily. Also, we will soon review the ban on Okada and lockdown. The index case has been isolated and given adequate attention. We believe in a short while, he will test negative twice and be discharged.”

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