Bayelsa Governor Tests Negative For Coronavirus

Channels Television  
Updated March 26, 2020
A file photo of Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.


Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19).

His acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday following speculations that the governor may have been infected with the virus.

Alabrah explained that Governor Diri was tested for COVID-19 by officials of the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health on Wednesday and the samples were sent to the Irrua Specialist Hospital, in Edo State.

He added that the result was obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)-accredited laboratory at the hospital.

“The result showed that Governor Douye Diri had ‘no evidence of COVID-19 infection,” he said.

The governor’s aide said his principal opted for the test after several phone calls and messages, following speculations on the social media that he might have been infected.

According to him, this was fuelled by his sitting next to Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State who tested positive for the virus, during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on March 19.

Following the result of the test, Governor Diri thanked Nigerians and the people of Bayelsa for their concern, love, and good wishes toward him and his family.

He also prayed for a reversal and healing for all those that had been infected by the pandemic.

“I had to take the test so as to douse the tension and end all the speculation. Besides, I needed to know my status concerning the COVID-19.

“I am, therefore, thankful to God that the result was negative as I anticipated,” he said.

The governor added, “I also thank Nigerians and Bayelsans all over the world for their concern, love and prayers. I pray for everyone that has been infected by this disease to be healed.”

Meanwhile, the state government has directed civil servants on Grade Levels 1 to 12 to stay at home for two weeks, with effect from March 26.

It also ordered the closure of all public and private primary and secondary schools in the state, as part of measures to curtail the spread of the disease.

The government had also suspended burial and wedding ceremonies for two weeks while the number of persons at worship centres and public gatherings has been reduced to not more than 20.

According to the statement, the restriction order also affects night clubs and bars in the state.