David Umahi, governor of Ebonyi, says a three-year-old child has tested positive for COVID-19 in the state.
Speaking on Wednesday, Umahi said the child’s parents were the sixth and seventh cases reported in the state.
He said the child tested positive on May 11 but that the patient’s one and a half-year-old sibling tested negative for the disease.
He said the child’s parents have refused to release the second child and have continued to breastfeed him in their isolation room.
The governor described the situation as “sympathetic”, adding that the government was currently grappling with ways of managing the patient’s sibling.
”As of today, we have a total of eight cases. Three of the cases are very sympathetic because it involves a man and the wife. The man and the wife have two little children: one is a year plus, the other one is three years,” Umahi said.
“Then, we tested the man and the woman. In fact, we took the woman and the man followed to perform his role. We tested them and both of them tested positives. Now, that is the sixth and seventh cases.
“On May 11, one of the kids, the three-year-old, tested positive; now left with the little child of a year and half. The child is still being breastfed and doctors have appealed to her parents to isolate her so that she does not get infected.
“The state government has pledged to cater for the child. We urge her parents to provide a child caregiver or we provide one to take care of her.
“They have, however, held on to the child and we view through close circuit television (CCTV) how they pull her clothes and breast-feed her.
“I want doctors to make inquiries on what to do on the matter and we will do it even by force.”
Umahi said of the 818 suspected cases tested in the state, 774 returned negative and have been released to go home.
“We have tested 818 persons mostly from Ebonyi and other states from the south-east and south-south zones and 396 tested negative while we issued them discharge certificates,” he said.
“378 suspected cases which tested negative were treated of other symptoms such as cough and released to go home.”
He also said 55 returnees from other states were currently being quarantined at the state’s main isolation centre in Abakaliki with 37 of them awaiting results of their tests.