#Panic In Imo As State Records 38 COVID-19 Cases In One Day

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Residents of the 27 Local Councils in Imo State are living in fear following the upsurge in Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases. According to the figures released on Tuesday, November 16, by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Imo had 38 confirmed cases, the highest number across states of the federation that day.

Our correspondent gathered that most people ignore non-pharmaceutical safety measures, such as wearing of facemasks, constant washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers.

All who spoke with The Guardian expressed apprehension over the surge in the number of those who contracted the virus.

The NCDC figures noted that Plateau State came second with 20 cases, Lagos 17, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 16, while Kwara and Zamfara have 15 cases each.

Others are Ondo seven, Rivers five, Taraba four, Oyo three, Bauchi two, while Edo and Ekiti recorded one apiece. Since the index case was recorded in Nigeria early last year, the number, according to NCDC, stands at 213,321. While 206,206 were discharged, 2,973 deaths were recorded.

Geo Okubi, who hails from Owerri West Local Council, said since the report was released, they had been moving around with caution. His words: “In fact, members of my family and I have been in fear over this report from NCDC. Imo recording the highest number, 38, among other states depicts danger.”

Helen Onyenze, a trader, from Ikeduru, said she was scared of moving in public places, even attending to her customers.

However, she said the spike might be because residents were no longer bothered about COVID-19 safety protocols.

“People are not even bothered. They are not wearing the facemasks. I am now cautious of staying at public places in Owerri, even attending to my customers,” she said.

Another respondent, identified as Emeka, popularly known as Authority, wondered why the sudden spike.

“I am really surprised that Imo is now the headquarters of COVID-19. Something has to be done,” he said, alleging that even the state government was not worried about the problem.

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