BENIN CITY – Following the upswing of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Nigeria, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has placed a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in any part of the state, as part of efforts to prevent spread of the virus.
The governor also ordered public officers below grade level 12 (except those providing essential services such as fire service and healthcare workers) to work from home until further notice.
Governor Obaseki disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the steps taken by his administration to ensure the virus is curtailed in the state.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Hospital, Sylvanus Okogbenin, said Edo State has recorded its first case of coronavirus.
Okogbenin said, “We have a patient who came back from Europe, was diagnosed and the result confirmed he tested positive for coronavirus. The person is presently under isolation. He is getting treatment and is expected to get better”.
Governor Obaseki, who urged residents not to panic as the state government has taken serious steps to prevent further spread of the virus in the state, said his administration has developed an action plan to cope with the pandemic.
The governor called on citizens to make public the identity of anyone that arrived from Europe, America or Asia in the last 30 days for screening and support.
He assured that the state will provide the necessary support to check the pandemic in the state.
Obaseki said, “We have three isolation centres in Benin City, Irrua and Auchi; a federal government testing centre in Irrua, and a large number of a well-trained and certified health workers to trace and treat patients.
“All public officers below grade level 12 (except those providing essential services such as fire service and healthcare workers) should work from home until further notice. All schools should remain closed. In order to give effect to our social distancing policy, gathering of more than 50 people is prohibited in Edo State till further notice. Public transportation will remain in operation, however crowding in commercial vehicles should be avoided.
“Coronavirus is not a death sentence, so no need to panic. The common signs and symptoms of the coronavirus infection include dry cough, fever and difficulty in breathing.”
“Since COVID 19 is a virus that is transmitted from one person to another through close contact, the most important and proven remedy to reduce its spread is through social distancing. Citizens are advised to postpone unnecessary travels in and out of Edo State and if possible, stay at home”, the governor added.
He urged residents not to panic but remain calm and cooperate with the government by ensuring they follow the instructions and steps which have been outlined to curtail the COVID19.
The governor also called on the people to report any signs or symptoms of coronavirus to the nearest designated hospital for monitoring, testing and care for quick recovery.
The designated hospitals include the Central Hospital, Edo Specialist Hospital, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Irrua Specialist Hospital, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Auchi Specialist Hospital.
“If you know of anyone who arrived from Europe, America or Asia in the last 30 days, please give the details of such persons, including their phone numbers, so that we can provide screening and any required support to them. Please call 08084096723, 08064258163, 08035835529 08074132010 for assistance,” he added.