Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has frowned over the increase in COVID-19 cases, following the frightening proportion in community transmission of the virus in the state.
In a statement personally signed by him, Governor Okowa,said that it was regrettable that many persons still think that the cononavirus is a hoax.
“It cannot be a hoax when over 200 persons have died including some prominent citizens.
“Therefore, I want to make a passionate appeal to all Deltans to please realise that the coronavirus disease is real, that as at Saturday, the total confirmed cases of the virus in the state was 781″.
It was reported that the state governor and his entire family have commence 14 day self isolation after testing positive of the virus, other are, Secretary to State Government and Commissioner for information and Commissioner for Special Duty, have been on self isolation.
The statement also stressed that “COVID-19 is real, and citizens are advised to be disciplined and comply with the protocols of wearing face masks and maintaining physical-distancing while in public places as well as basic hygiene of hand-washing with soap in running water and use of alcohol-based sanitisers as NCDC regulation demands.”
Governor Okowa said, last Thursday, Delta State recorded 106 cases, coming only behind Lagos, the epicentre of the pandemic.
The latest figure from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that on Friday, Delta recorded 66 additional cases.
“This brings the total number of infected persons in the State so far to 781. The local governments mostly affected are Oshimili South (181), Warri South (128), Uvwie (112), Oshimili North (79), Ughelli North (74), Ethiope West (41), and Sapele (66),’’ Okowa stated.
He further explained that “the State Government allowed normal business activities to go on in essential sectors of the economy to enable citizens take care of their families. It does not in any way suggest that the danger is over.
“We made this decision with all sense of responsibility while counting on your partnership with the Government to defeat this virus. Regrettably, it does appear our people have not taken this matter as seriously as they should.
“Our isolation centres are currently overwhelmed with the number of cases and unless we proactive and collectively take drastic actions to reverse the trend, we stand the risk of becoming another epicentre for the pandemic.
“In the absence of a specific curative drug, the only way to check the transmission of the virus is for all of us to adhere strictly to the NCDC-issued guidelines and safety protocols, which are as follows: Stay at home as much as possible. Only go out if it is ESSENTIAL for you to do so.
“If you must go out, please ensure that you maintain about six feet distance from other persons. This is because the virus is transmitted through droplets either due to coughing, sneezing, or talking with an infected person. Wear face masks once you are outside your home, this will shield you from droplets from a carrier, avoid crowds and large gatherings as much as possible.
“Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible. If this is not readily available, make sure you have a potable alcohol-based hand sanitiser to rub your hands.
“Refrain from touching your face with unwashed hands, especially outside your home and avoid hugs and handshakes.”
The governor ordered that henceforth, banks, supermarkets, malls, stores, salons, and motorists MUST admit limited persons per time and strictly enforce the physical/social distancing rule.
“In addition to providing hand wash stations/alcohol-based sanitizers, banks, salons, supermarkets, stores, and malls MUST deny entry to patrons without facemasks. Where there is more than one person, occupants of private vehicles MUST also wear face masks.
“The number of guests at social events such as, weddings, funerals, traditional marriages should not exceed 50 with appropriate physical distance set in place. People without face masks MUST be turned back. I also implore our religious houses to implement all the safety protocols as agreed.
“Residents in the most affected Local Governments Area: Oshimili South, Warri South, Uvwie, Oshimili North, Ughelli North, Ethiope West, and Sapele are particularly advised to be on red alert.
“Let me emphasise once again that the coronavirus disease is real, and anybody can contact it. It is neither a rich man’s nor a poor man’s disease. Anybody can be affected.
“I call on every resident in the State to act responsibly to protect yourself and others, and do not forget to continue praying for God’s merciful intervention to stop this raging pandemic”.