As Guests and Staff awaits Tests from Abuja; Receive food and Relief materials from Governor Hope Uzodima
The Fancy Hotel Umuguma, Owerri is on lockdown now for 2 days over the fear that the hotel has been exposed to the pandemic coronavirus. Visiting the hotel, the locked gates of the hotel is evidence of this lockdown as men of the Nigerian police force can be seen present around the hotel premises. The fear is that the Owner and MD of the hotel Mr Christogonus Aguwa Osuagwu was confirmed to have contracted the virus and stayed at the hotel upon his arrival from South Africa. And for this reason, the hotel has to be quarantined and no person(s) is allowed entry or exit of the hotel premises.
Speaking to hospitality360africa.org reporters, the General Manager, Mr George Nnnaemeka, he confirmed this lockdown and that men of the Nigerian Police stormed the hotel premises midnight of Friday, the 27th of March, 2020 with some health workers who happen to be members of the Governor’s Task Force on Covid-19, led by Dr Perry Njoku and told them their hotel has been exposed to Coronavirus and as such, has to be quarantined. He promised them that Health Professionals from Abuja will visit the hotel soon to test staff and guests of the hotel.
Meanwhile, Dr Perry Njoku, the Team Lead and Secretary to the Governor’s Task Force on Covid-19 confirmed this situation over a phone conversation. Speaking to hospitality360africa.org, he said the directive came after they received messages from the National Centre for Disease Control in Abuja for contact tracing of one Mr CleoSantos Aguwa who has tested positive for the coronavirus and been quarantined at the Gwagwalada Isolation Centre. Mr Njoku said when he and his team visited the hotel, they learnt that the contact who came back from South Africa on a business trip, visited his village in Mbaise before visiting his hotel ‘The Fancy Hotel’ Umuguma, Owerri where he stayed for a couple of days before catching a flight back to his residence in Abuja where he fell ill and contacted the hospital. He tested positive to the Covid-19 Virus and is currently in good hands at the Gwagwalada Isolation Centre.
Dr Perry also informed us that while they await the arrival of professionals from Abuja who will carry out the tests, the Taskforce have sent food and other relief materials to the hotel, and this was confirmed by the hotel General Manager, Mr George Nnaemeka. This is contrary to the news making the rounds that the hotel was targeted by the Government for political reasons.
Speaking to some of the guests at the hotel, it is evident they are lost, confused and in a total panic right now. Both guest and staff are lost in fear and anxiety as they don’t know their faiths. Are they victims of the deadly virus? Are they going to die? If the government is suspecting them to be exposed, could they hurry up with a test? Would they be taken to an isolation centre? What is going to happen to them? These and many more questions-without-answers have left all in the hotel in total panic and confusion.
Testing positive to coronavirus should not be the end of the world and should not lead to any form of stigmatization or condemnation of any individual or corporate organization. While we encourage the Taskforce to speed up the testing process, we also think this is time to send mental health workers to work with those quarantined at the hotel who must be going through mental torture.
We at Hospitality360africa.org want to thank the men and women of the Governor’s Task Force on Covid-19 for their swift action, and for providing the quarantined with food and relief materials. We also want to commend the Governor, H.E. Hope Uzodima for showing leadership and equipping the Taskforce to do their jobs efficiently. However, we urge the state to develop its own capacity to carry out testing in Imo State rather than wait for Abuja or Lagos to do so as the waiting period poises serious mental torture for the quarantined contacts.
We also want to thank Dr Perry Njoku, and his team for their professionalism in handling this situation and for their effective communication over the phone to provide us with answers to questions from our investigative journalist. He confirmed that efforts are still in progress to complete the contact tracing of Mr Aguwa to ensure the virus is curtailed. We wish Mr Aguwa and all victims of this virus, a quick recovery. This is not a time to be ashamed of contracting the virus, we all are in this pandemic together, we must adhere to the safety guidelines: so wash your hands regularly, keep the social distance and STAY AT HOME. We shall overcome Coronavirus in no time.
If you know you have been to the Fancy Hotel, Umuguma, Owerri in the last 2 weeks from today the 30th of March 2020, it will be good you go into self isolation or contact Dr Perry Njoku of the Imo State Task Force on Covid-19 on 08033281064 for help.