COVID-19: Anxiety in Edo over 110 travelers from Kano, Rivers

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• We locked down Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt to protect Rivers people — Wike
• Bayelsa govt warns those breaching it boundaries
• Police arrest 20 face-mask defaulters in Delta
• FG inaugurates COVID-19 testing, treatment centre in Port Harcourt
• Delta records another death , total deaths now 3, active 12, discharged 2

By Emma Amaize, Samuel Oyadongha, Festus Ahon, Naomi Uzor, Chioma Onuegbu, Davies Iheammachor, Harris Emanuel & Ozioruva Aliu

THERE was anxiety among health workers at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, Edo State, yesterday, as a truck load of persons numbering 84 believed to have arrived from Kano State came to the hospital.

Similarly, another vehicle transporting 26 persons said to be coming from Rivers State was intercepted and all detainees from the two arrests are undergoing screening and testing to ascertain their covid-19 status.

The incident in Irrua was said to have caught the hospital management and staff unawares and led to some of the staff going home.

A source in the hospital told Newzandar News, “When I arrived the hospital this morning (yesterday), I saw a lot of people being guarded by the police and on enquiry, I was told they were intercepted overnight and were  said to be going to Lagos. The Police kept them overnight and then informed the state governor, who immediately ordered that they should all be subjected to Covid-19 test before any action would be taken about them. They have been isolated and urgent testing has began to know the status of each of them.”

Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Odijie Ohue said, he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed  the incident said, “Operatives intercepted the vehicle and took them to Irrua police station. When counted, they were 84 human beings including the driver and when they were interrogated, they said they were coming from the North. They were taken to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for proper medical check and that has been done.

“The state government order is that security agents should escort them away to where they said they were going to, and that is the West, either Ogun or Lagos state.”

State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, said the 26 travellers in a truck were stopped at AGIP Junction on Sapele Road and moved to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital for screening and testing to ascertain their COVID-19 status before they were let off to continue their journey.

On the travelers from Kano, Okundia said, “ISTH is screening and testing them. We are communicating and exchanging reports. The essence is to screen these persons and get them tested after which they will be allowed back into their truck to continue their journey and Police officers will escort them out of the state.”

The driver of the truck with registration number LSF 679 XZ spotted at Edo Central, John Monday, said he had just finished delivering his goods and decided to pick the passengers, who he claimed he charged between N500 and N700 on his way from Kano State en-route Ogun State.

We locked down Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt to protect Rivers people — Wike

Meanwhile, Governor  Nyesom Wike of Rivers State,  has said that the lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas was not targeted at suffering the people,  but aimed at protecting Rivers people from coronavirus.

Speaking during a live phone-in radio programme in Port Harcourt, yesterday,  “We have to lockdown Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas in the interest of our people.  While individuals feel it, the state government is also affected because it loses revenue.  But lives must be protected.

“We need continuous prayers to succeed.  We have handed this state to God. We can only do much, but God will save our people.”

Wike said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that agriculture and health were key. He said the state government will work towards further growth in that direction.

He said: “Everyone should support the state government to tackle COVID-19.  This is not a period of criticism. This is a period where all of us must come together,  irrespective of political parties to stop the spread of the virus.

“I thank Rivers people for their support.  It has been amazing.  I am not moved by the unfounded criticism of a few.  I am concerned about the protection of the vast majority of Rivers people,  because I have their mandate.”

Wike urged churches to fellowship online and pray for the state within the period. He said that basically,  the state government was taking precautionary measures to protect Rivers people.

Bayelsa warns those breaching boundaries

Bayelsa State Government has warned those compromising its boundary control measures towards curtailing the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 in the state to turn a new leaf or face the wrath of the law.

State Deputy Governor, Senator Ewhrudjakpo handed down the warning at a meeting with members of the local government COVID-19 teams led by the eight council chairmen in Yenagoa.

Ewhrudjakpo said,  “I’m just coming from another meeting where I had reports that there is now high influx of strangers into our state. This is because of the porous borders.

“People are now running from places that experienced total lockdown to where they will have freedom of movement. These are people you don’t even know their virus status and our people are encouraging them to come in.

“We don’t have the kind of capacity Lagos has, but they are finding it difficult to cope with their situation despite the N10 billion support from the Federal Government.

“That is why I urge every one of us, including security agencies manning our borders to take government’s preventive measures seriously.’’

Police arrest 20 facemask defaulters in Delta

In Delta State, men of the police command, yesterday arrested no fewer than  20 persons in Asaba, the state capital for not wearing face masks in public.

Newzandar News gathered that the Police officers  attached to the Okpanam police division, arrested the facemask defaulters around the Midwifery market on Okpanam Road.

The policemen, who mounted road block after arresting a shop owner in the area for attending to customers without wearing facemask, also apprehended some ‘keke’ operators and their passsengers for improper use of the facemasks.

One of the Police officers, who spoke to Newzandar News on condition of anonymity, noted that some of the arrested persons wore the facemask on their chins, others wore it to cover their mouths leaving their noses opened while some had none.

FG inaugurates COVID-19 testing, treatment centre in Port Harcourt

In Rivers State, the Federal Government has opened a testing and treatment centre in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH.

This came as the management of UPTH sought the collaboration of the Rivers State Government for testing and treatment of COVID 19 cases in the state.

Prof. Henry Ugboma, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, while unveiling the 14 bed isolation testing and treatment centre, said the medical outfit seeks to collaborate with the state government to contain an eventual community outbreak of COVID 19 in the state.

CACOVID strengthens Rivers,  Enugu states against COVID-19

Private sector Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID, yesterday strengthened the fight against coronavirus  scourge with the handover of fully equipped isolation centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and donation of beds and accessories in Enugu, Enugu State.

CACOVID is a joint initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Access Bank, UBA, GTBank and other private sector organisations.

Representative of CACOVID and Regional Head, Rivers Region 2 of the United Bank for Africa, UBA, Ms Blessing Ogwu, who handed over the centre in Port Harcourt said, the facility located at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt comprises of an isolation and treatment centre aimed at supporting the Rivers State Government in handling cases of COVID-19 infections in the state.

Investments in isolation centres beyond COVID-19  pandemic — A’Ibom  commissioner

Commissioner for Works in Akwa Ibom State,  Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen has explained that the 300-bed space isolation centre at Ituk Mbang General Hospital, Uruan was being constructed as a permanent structure that would last beyond COVID-19 pandemic.

Inyangeyen stated this yesterday, while reacting to comments by critics of  Governor Udom Emmanuel government that the lean resources available to the state was being expended on the isolation centre project that would not last forever.

He said, “As a prudent manager of Akwa Ibom state resources, Governor Emmanuel thought it wise to implement a permanent solution to the problem of infectious disease outbreak by investing in the isolation centre, not only to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but for outbreak of any other deadly disease that may occur in future.’’

Delta records another death

Another coronavirus, COVID-19 patient has been confirmed dead by the state government, bringing the number of deaths from the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic to three in the state.

Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, confirmed the death in his verified WhatsApp page.

Newzandar News gathered that the dead patient was the only case recorded in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.

According to Aniagwu in his post, “the number of active cases in the state is now 12, two discharged cases and three deaths.”

Recall that the State had between last week Thursday night and Friday morning recorded 10 new cases bringing the number of cases in the State to 17.

Otuaro visits family of man slain by soldiers

Deputy Governor of Delta State, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, has visited the family of 28-year-old Mr Joseph Pessu, who was shot dead, last month, by soldiers purportedly enforcing the lockdown directive of the state government to check the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

He assured the wife and children of the deceased of assistance of the state government after his burial rites when he stopped over at their Ugbuwangue residence in Warri.

Otuaro, who led government delegation to commiserate with the family,  said,  “What has happened has happened, it is unfortunate and irreversible. We deemed it necessary to come and condole with the Pessu family. It is our prayers that God Almighty will give the Pessu family the grace and fortitude to bear the loss.’’

Newzandar News

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