UPDATE: Gov. Okowa imposes dusk to dawn curfew in Delta, says 24 COVID-19 suspects at large, reveals where patients are being managed

Following the footsteps of the federal government, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during a state-wide broadcast on Tuesday extended the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Delta State, giving reasons why the extension of the lockdown is necessary.

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Governor Okowa during the state-wide broadcast on Tuesday said the extension of the lockdown, among others reasons, is necessary because of the upscale in the number of cases nationally and the need to ease the process of contact tracing, the stay at home order has become more necessary.

You will recall that the lockdown order within the State started on the 1st of April 2020. Two days before then, we have actually stopped entry into the State, except for goods that are considered very essential.

“On the 7th of April, we had our incident case of COVID-19 in Delta State. That was the 7th day of the lockdown. Three cases have thus far been identified in Delta State. We lost one of the cases. That case presented very late at our centre and the patient had other ailments and that led to the death of the patient. The test result came out positive after the patient had passed away.

“We want to assure you that we have. continued to do contact tracing. 70 contacts have been identified. 46 of them, have been reached and we are trying our best to get the remaining 24. Some persons have been isolated in their homes or what we refer to as self-isolation. That is when the officials involved have been able to get the satisfaction that such persons can truly be isolated in their homes. Some other persons that cannot be isolated in their homes, they are currently being isolated in three different centres.

“We have two cases that are active. One is being managed at the Oghara centre. That is the Delta State University Teaching Hospital. We created a centre in that place. And one also is being managed at our infectious disease centre at Asaba. Both persons are doing very well.

“We have four treatment centres on the whole. The Infectious Disease Centre built by the Delta State Government at the Federal Medical Centre Asaba; the Asaba Specialist Hospital, which currently is our biggest centre; the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara in a third; and the centre at the Warri Central Hospital will come on stream fully today.

“All these centres also have isolation facilities. We have attempted to create our isolation centres in such a manner that people will not cross-infect others. That is why we are using the single room option for the isolation of suspected cases until they test positive.

"l want to advise our people that COVID-19 is a viral illness that has continued to ravage the world. But it is not a death sentence. Many of the cases are mild and many of them, they recover. As at today, we are aware that there are only 10 deaths in Nigeria even when we have 343 cases already confirmed in Nigeria.

“I, therefore, want to urge our people to avoid all forms of stigmatization, and the best corporation we will have from the people, we want those who may fall ill to truly identify themselves in the best interest of the people. Anyone could be exposed; anyone could be infected; both the high and the low, the rich and the poor. So, it is for all of us to continue to obey the rules and praying also that God will intervene in the situation in our State, in our nation and the world over.

"l want to reassure you that health personnel have been trained and they are very proactive. I want to use this opportunity to thank all our health staffs, which include both the doctors, nurses, the laboratory scientists, the pharmacists, and other health staffs that have been trained. They are all in good spirit and committed to their duties. I am glad and grateful to them.

“Ambulance drivers and other auxiliary staffs like cleaners, laundrymen, and others have also been adequately trained and we have enough ambulances to be able to convey patients or cases that are suspected to our isolation or treatment centres across the State.

“I want to reassure both our health staffs and the auxiliary staffs that they would be adequately remunerated in the course of their duty. We are working out the details. I had a teleconference meeting with my team yesterday, and I am sure that by the end of today, they would be able to communicate to health staffs the amount of money that they would be paid on a daily basis for the work that they do. We must appreciate them for the great work, the great committment because they are in the line of duty to help each and every one of us and for the good of each and every one of us.

“The Delta State Government has gone ahead to start the production of face masks but this time, the one made with a cloth. We are trying to produce a few hundreds of thousands of face masks and these face masks would be distributed free of charge to all Deltans. The good thing about the face mask made with a cloth is that as you wash your hands with soap and water, you can also wash face mask on a daily basis with soap and water if you want to use it and you are going out. That will definitely reduce the risks of infection. It is our hope that the distribution of the face masks will start by the end of this week and we will continue to distribute the face masks as much as we are able to produce.

"We have also put in place a food bank. We are getting the last stocks of the initial holder, and by the special grace of God, in the next 42 to 72 hours, food would be sent to across to support our indigent people, who do not have access to food, in all wards of the State. We will use the wards, the federal wards, as a means of distribution concerning this. It is for all Deltans and not restricted to party politics.

“I also want to use this opportunity to thank all those who have made donations to our various accounts and those who have made donations in kind to the food bank. I want to encourage all Deltans to continue to assist the poor through this means. We will remain accountable and we will ensure that the money and the food items donated are put into proper use.

“We have accounts, as at today, Zenith Bank, Sterling Bank and also the UBA. You can pay monies into any of these accounts and I am sure that there is means by which these bank accounts are being communicated to all. For those who want to get further information, you can make inquiries from the office of the SSG or the Commissioner for Health.

“Having taken cognizance of the upscale in the number of cases nationally, standing at 343 today, spread across 19 States, and the federal capital territory and the need to ease the process of contact tracing, the stay at home order has become more necessary. For the safety of our people, and to enable us to track identify, isolate and test all contacts, by the power vested on me in line with the Quarantine Act, and the subsequent Disease Resolution 2020, I hereby extend the stay at home order for another period of two weeks.

"We do know that this will cause some pains to our people but it is for the public good and for the interest of our health. I want to urge all Deltans to please observe the stay at home order. We believe that in this next two weeks, we will be able to track all contacts, identify all possible cases and be able to take the needed actions. We will be able to use this opportunity to also produce enough quantity of face masks for our people.

“Nobody is expected to be seen outside. A dusk to dawn curfew is hereby imposed with effect from tomorrow until the next 14 days. Only persons on essential duties are exempted. We have previously given a list of those on essential duties,” Governor Okowa said. 

Cc @TheNewsGuru.com

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