Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on Tuesday briefed Deltans on the latest development on the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state. NIGER DELTA TODAY Online brings to you eight things you should known from Governor Okowa state-wide broadcast.
Okowa Extends Lockdown In Delta By Two Weeks
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during the state-wide broadcast on Tuesday extended the lockdown in the state by two weeks. He said the extension will help in identifying and tracing those who had contact with confirmed cases.
Read him, “Having taken cognizance of the health scale of the number of cases nationally, standing at 343 as at 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 track, identify, isolate and test all contacts. By the powers vested on me in line with the Quarantine Act and the subsequent Infectious Disease Regulation 2020, I hereby extend the stay-at-home order for another period of two weeks.
We do know that this will cause some pain for our people, but this 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 the next two weeks, we would be able to track all contacts, identify all possible cases and be able to take the needed actions and then we would be able to use this next opportunity to also produce enough quantity of face masks for our people. It is our hope that we would be able to return to duty thereafter praying to God that the cases in Nigeria will not escalate beyond what we have at the moment.
Okowa Imposes Dusk-To-Dawn Curfew In Delta
The governor in the broadcast also imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state to enforce further restriction of movement in the evening beginning from Wednesday April 15, 2020.
Okowa said, “We have also observed that because the law enforcement agents tend to slow down in the evenings, there are people who have been moving around even to beer parlours. Some beer parlours and other businesses have started to open to the public in the evenings.
“Because of that, I want to now take action to be able to stop the process of escalating infection transmission. Therefore, I am going to direct the Commissioner of Police to ensure that as from 7pm-7am, nobody is expected to be seen outside.
“A dusk-to-dawn curfew is hereby imposed with effect from tomorrow (Wednesday) until the next 14 days. Only persons on essential duties are exempted. We have previously given a list of those on essential duties.”
Okowa Bans Daily Food Markets, Says Food Markets Should Hold Monday, Wednesday and Friday
However, Governor Okowa has banned food markets from holding everyday across the state in a bit to checkmate the spread of the virus and movement of persons for two weeks.
He noted that the makeshift Food Markets established in public schools and open places will now hold on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays across the state.
He directed council chairmen across the state to enforce the new directive and ensure that social distancing in the food market are complied.
“I want to ask that our local government council chairmen with their various teams will ensure that all former markets are closed and that food markets are open in the primary and secondary school fields and that they must ensure that there is social distancing and to ensure that it means that we have to try to open as many branches in the primary schools and secondary schools that are available and when we do not have enough of this available please look out for open spaces and cause temporary markets to be open in such places.
“You must also create a team to ensure that the social distancing is observed. Because people have continued to use the opportunity of the opening of food markets to loiter around, we have decided that this temporary food markets will only be opened on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays only. I believe that this is doable!”
Delta Begins Mass Production Of Face Masks For Free
Okowa also stated that the state government has commenced mass production of face masks for Deltans for free. He urged residents of the state to use the face masks whenever they are going out while also observing the social distancing and hand sanitizing/washing.
According to him, “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 this face mask will be distributed free of charge to all Deltans.
“The good thing about the face mask is that just as you wash your hands with soap and water, you can also wash the face mask on a daily basis with soap and water if you want to use it and you are going out. And that will definitely reduce the risk of infection. It is our hope that the distribution of the face mask will start by the end of this week and we would continue to distribute the face mask as much as we able to produce. “
Distribution Of Palliatives From Food Bank Begins On Thursday
Governor Okowa further stated that distribution of palliatives from the food bank set up by the state government is billed to commence on Thursday, assuring that the distribution will be apolitical on unit and ward basis across the state.
He said, “We have also put in place a food bank. We are getting the last stock of the initial order and by the special grace of God in the next 42-72 hours, food would be sent across to support to those who do not have access to food in all wards of the state. We will use the federal wards as a means to distribution concerning this. It’s to all Deltans and should not be 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. And I want to also encourage all Deltans to continue of assist the poor, we will remain accountable and we will ensure that the monies and food items donated are put into proper use.
“We have accounts as at today Zenith bank, Sterling Bank and also UBA. You can pay money to any of those accounts and I am sure there is a means through which those bank accounts are been communicated to us. Then for those who want to get further information, you can make enquiries from the office of the SSG or the Commissioner for Health.”
Delta To Pay Health Workers On COVID-19 Frontline Daily Allowance
Speaking further, Okowa disclosed that the state government would communicate to health workers by end of Tuesday the amount the state will pay health workers on the frontline of duty in the state.
“I want to reassure that both our health staff and the auxiliary staff 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 (Monday) and I assure that by the end of today we would be able to communicate to the health staff the amount of money that would be paid on a daily basis for the work that they do.
“We must appreciate them for their great work and commitment because they are in the line of duty for the good of each and every one of us.”
70 Persons Who Had Contact With Dead COVID-19 Case, Others Identified
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa has disclosed that the state government has identified 70 contacts who allegedly had contacted with the three confirmed cases of the CIVID-19 including the pastor who died of the virus at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.
“Three cases have thus far been identified in Delta State. Unfortunately, we lost one of the cases and that case did present very late at our Oghara centre and the patient had other ailments and that led to the death of the patient. In fact, 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 actually been reached and we are still doing our best to get the remaining 24. Some persons have been isolated in their homes in 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. But some other persons that could not 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 i.e the Delta State University Teaching Hospital — and one also is being managed at our Infectious Disease Centre at Asaba. Both persons are doing very well”, the governor added.
Warri Isolation Centre To Officially Take Off Today
The governor also disclosed that the four isolation centres in the state including the one situated at Warri Central Hospital have been well equipped to take patients.
According to Okowa, the Warri centre will officially take off today (Tuesday).
Read him, “We have 4 treatement 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 is the third and the centre at the Warri Central Hospital will come on stream fully, today (Tuesday).
“All these centres also have isolation facilities and we have tended to create the isolation centres in such a manner that people will not cross infect others. And that is why we are using the single room option for the isolation of suspected cases until they rest positive. We have 12 holding centers across the state and medical staff have been trained in all these holding centres.
“I want to advise our people, that COVID-19, yes it 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 have recovered. 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 stigmatisation and the best cooperation we will have from the people will help those who may fall ill to truly identify themselves for 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. We 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 staff which includes the doctors, the nurses, the laboratory scientists, the pharmacists and other health staff that have been trained. They are all in good spirits and are committed to their duties.”