Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia on Tuesday announced that the state government would commence massive testing for COVID-19 as part of efforts to curb its spread.

Ikpeazu, who made the announcement in a statement in Umuahia, said that the new phase of the fight against COVID-19 in Abia would require the testing.

The governor said that massive testing would enable the state to achieve, at least, 10 per cent coverage of the population at the initial stage of the exercise.

“The state epidemiologist has been directed to work out modalities for case searches, using sample population size of between 30 and 250 people in some densely populated LGAs.

“Leading this battle from the front as your governor, I and all members of the first family, subjected ourselves to COVID-19 test on Saturday, May 30, 2020, and the results came out negative today.

“Unfortunately, results of two of my aides, who also subjected themselves to the COVID-19 test, were positive while others turned in negative results,” Ikpeazu said.

He urged Abia residents to desist from stigmatising COVID-19 patients and those who had recovered from the disease,

”If any person contracts COVID-19, it will be saddening, but it is neither criminal nor necessarily the person’s fault.

“Let me put it on record that statistics shows that many more people recover from the virus than those who pass away from it.”

The governor directed the Transition Committee Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Councils in Abia and their deputies to present themselves for COVID-19 test and isolate themselves pending the release of the results.

Ikpeazu urged the people of Abia to get involved in the battle against the disease by supporting government efforts against the pandemic.

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