BENIN CITY – Edo State Government has outlined measures to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19), Prohibiting gathering of more than 50 people, shutting all schools statewide and asking civil servants below grade level 12 to work from home.
The Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki reeled out these measures yesterday while addressing media practitioners at Government House and enjoined them to join hands with government is disseminating information about the pandemic to the grass roots through their Editorials and opinion pieces as well as jingles.
“Coronavirus is not a death sentence, so there is no need to panic. With swift identification and proper management and care, many persons who have been infected with the virus have made full recoveries.
“If we all work together and take the right preventions, it is possible to cope with the virus,” Governor Obaseki stated.
The Governor who explained that essential services such as fire and health are exempted from the “work from home policy,” said the policy measures announced would remain in force until further notice.
Besides, Governor Obaseki also announced that every citizen should practice social distancing to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in Edo State.
“Since COVID 19 is a virus that is transmitted from one person to another through close contact, the most effective and proven remedy is to reduce its spread through social distancing.
“Social distancing involves reducing as much as possible physical contact with others,” he noted.
According to him, “citizens are advised to postpone unnecessary travels in and out of the state and if possible stay at home. If you know of anyone who arrive from Europe, the Americas or Asia in the last 30 days, please give details of such person including their phone numbers so that we can provide scanning and any required support to them.”
While public transportation will remain in operation, Governor Obaseki advised that crowding in commercial vehicle should be avoided and urged residents to make use of the provided phone numbers: 08064258163; 08074132010 and 08035835529 to call for assistance.
He listed designated hospitals available for anyone who has signs and symptoms of coronavirus to include the Central Hospital, Edo Specialist Hospital and the Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City.
Other designated hospitals are Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and the Auchi General Hospitals, adding that the hospitals will monitor, test and treat patients.
Governor Obaseki reassured that Edo State government is very interested in the health, welfare and social support for the very vulnerable in our society, particularly the elderly and persons with chronic diseases.
“As we face this challenge, I call on all Edo residents to remain calm and cooperate with us and ensure that you follow the instructions and steps which we have outlined to curtail the spread of COVID 19.
“Be rest assured that your government will provide the required leadership and support to check the pandemic in Edo State,” Governor Obaseki emphasized.
He further noted that the common signs and symptoms of coronavirus infections include dry cough, fever and difficulties in breathing, urging owners of business premises to ensure that they procure hand sanitizers and other facilities in their businesses particularly, markets.
Governor Obaseki also hinted that to curb the spread of the coronavirus, government had met with the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II and other traditional rulers, leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other associations in order to get the people sensitized and drive the message home to the grassroot.
Responding to questions, Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu who heads the Technical Committee on COVID 19 dispelled fears of inadequate hand sensitizes in Edo State, adding that preparatory to Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) over 15,000 hand sanitizers were already procured with provisions for more, adding that the government is on top of the situation.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Irrual Specialist Teaching Hospital, Prof. Sylvanus Okogbenin who spoke at the briefing said that a patient had been confirmed to be positive in Edo State, adding that they expect that the patient will get better.
The CMD who would not give details of the patient’s identity because of professional confidentiality said the health status of the patient falls within the mild/moderate disease, saying that there are mild, moderate, severe and critical.
“He was somebody who traveled to one of the European countries and is back. The sample was referred to us by the state Epidemiologist and the diagnosis was confirmed to be the COVID 19 virus, after that he was isolated and is receiving treatment,” he stated.