COVID-19: Delta Stands The Risk Of Becoming Another Epicentre, Says Okowa

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

 

Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has deplored the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the state, saying it had become obvious that community transmission of the virus had reached an alarming and frightening proportion.

In a statement personally signed by him on Saturday, the governor said that it was regrettable that many persons still think that the coronavirus disease was a hoax.

According to him, if residents don’t take the necessary precautions as listed by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, the state stands the risk of becoming another epicenter after Lagos State.

“It cannot be a hoax when over 20 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,” he said, disclosing that as at Saturday, the number of confirmed cases of the virus in the state was 781.

According to him, on Thursday, June 25, 2020, Delta State recorded 106 cases, coming behind Lagos, the epicentre of the pandemic in the country.

The latest figures from the NCDC showed that on Friday, Delta State 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 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 proactively 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 – of 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 sanitizer to rub your hands.

-Refrain from touching your face with unwashed hands, especially outside your home.

-Avoid hugs and handshakes.

“My dear Deltans, this is a clarion call to arms. We must brace up and take responsibility for our collective health and safety now.

“It is very worrisome that many of our people still walk the streets without wearing a face mask or even observing physical/social distancing.”

Read Also: Okowa, Family Go Into Isolation After Daughter Tested Positive For COVID-19

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 – 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 – 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.

“Together we shall beat this virus,” he added.

COVID-19: NDDC Distributes Medical Equipment, Relief Materials In Delta

 

As parts of efforts to combat the ravaging coronavirus pandemic and its attendant hunger, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has kicked off the distribution of medical equipment and food palliatives to the 25 Local Government Areas of Delta State.

Flagging off the distribution at Iwhrekeka Community, Ughelli South Council Area, the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Professor Daniel Pondei, said that the COVID-19 pandemic created health emergency and pangs of hunger the world over, particularly in the Niger Delta region.

Professor Pondei, who was represented by the Delta State Director of the Commission, Mr Gochua Okejoto, said that with the rising cases of the pandemic in Nigeria, there was need for all hands to be on deck to fight the virus with all available resources.

The NDDC Acting Managing Director further disclosed that the Commission in response to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, committed funds to aid the fight across the region under its Emergency Support for Health and Social Programme.

He thanked the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for his commitment to ensuring that the medical supplies and food items got to the indigent and vulnerable persons in the State.

The NDDC boss said that mechanism had been put in place to ensure that the food palliative got to the right people across the state.

Professor Pondei noted that the medical supplies included special diagnostic and critical care equipment such as ventilators, adding that the equipment would be distributed to the Central Hospital, Warri, Central Hospital, Ughelli and the Teaching Hospital, Oghara.

He advised the people of Delta State to listen and obey the precautionary measures given by governments towards conquering the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that Corona Virus was real.

The Delta State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Mofe Pirah, represented by Mr Emmanuel Amiwero, thanked NDDC for complementing the efforts of the state government at mitigating the spread and the negative impact of the Corona Virus pandemic on Deltans.

Also, the Chairman of the NDDC COVID-19 Distribution Committee for Delta State, Sir Bishop Oruefe thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC for meeting the needs of the grassroots in the region.

A youth leader from the Ijaw nation, Barrister Pele Dimebide also thanked President Buhari and the IMC of the NDDC for its intervention at this critical time.

Delta SSG, Information Commissioner Test Positive To COVID-19

 

Two top officials in the Delta State Government have tested positive to COVID-19.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, who made this known in a statement in Asaba, named the officials as Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie and Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 661 More COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Exceed 500

According to the governor’s spokesperson, both officials showed mild symptoms of the virus and consequently subjected themselves to the test.

He further reveals that they are currently in isolation and are in stable condition and high spirits

Residents of the state have once again been advised to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols as anyone, irrespective of status, could contract the virus.

Family Members Forcefully Move COVID-19 Patient Out Of Isolation Center

 

The Delta State Ministry of Health has announced that the family members of a COVID-19 patient have forcefully moved him out from one of the isolation centres in Asaba, the state capital.

The State Commissioner for Health, Ononye Mordi, who made the announcement on Thursday expressed displeasure over the forceful removal of the patient.

The patient is identified as a 53-year-old health official named Nwachukwu Michael Mordi.

READ ALSO: Delta Govt Announces No Face Mask, No Movement Rule

He had tested positive to COVID-19 on May 23, 2020, and was admitted into the isolation centre on May 24, 2020.

The Commissioner lamented that the abductors now constitute a grave danger to their own health and that of persons they have come in contact with, including members of their community.

Efforts are ongoing by Health in the state to find the patient and ensure he is back at the centre to continue treatment.

Delta Community Issues Quit Notice To Herdsmen

 

Herdsmen resident in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State have been issued a seven-day ultimatum to vacate bushes they are residing in the council.

This is following an executive order given to them by the Local Government Chairman, Louis Ndukwe.

The executive order directs the herders to vacate the bushes within seven days or have their structures demolished.

Oshimili North local government plays host to a handful of Fulani herders. The local government Chairman, however notes that the decision to evict the herders is due to the increasing rate of kidnapping, killing, maiming among other crimes and security challenges.

READ ALSO: Former DG Of Imo State Broadcasting Corporation Arrested For Allegedly Killing Wife

“The ultimatum is a seven-day ultimatum. That doesn’t mean that some amendments or waivers would not be given. Or extension of time but the important thing to note is that we will come down heavily on defaulters.

“We have agreed with traditional rulers and stakeholders. We have informed the police and other security agencies.

“What we are saying is enough is enough. We don’t want to accommodate anybody in our bushes anymore. It’s about the security of our people.

“If you want to live in Oshimili Local Government, buy a piece of land and stop living in bushes,” the local government chairman told Channels Television.

Unsatisfied with this directive, the herders took to Benin-Asaba highway in protest.

The herders including men, women and children carried placards with various inscriptions insisting they are not criminals but law-abiding citizens who were born in Delta State.

Their spokesperson, Idris Abubakar, said they are legal occupants of Oshimili and they pay rents.

“The Federal Government should come to our aid so they can allow us stay as legal occupants. The government should come to our aid and halt the local Government Chairman from passing this so-called executive order.

“Whoever is living in any place is a legal occupant of that place. We have receipts that they gave to us. We pay tenancy each year,” Abubakar said.

The Local Government Chairman, Ndukwe, in response to the protesters insists that the plan is not to victimise any tribe or persons but to rid the bushes of criminals who have used the bushes to perpetrate crimes.

Delta Govt Announces No Face Mask, No Movement Rule

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Delta State Government has announced that henceforth, there shall be a no mask, no movement rule in the state.

The announcement was made after a meeting by the technical committee on the fight against the pandemic in the state, led by Governor Okowa, as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

According to the government, anyone found not wearing a face mask is at risk of being taken to an isolation centre.

The compulsory wearing of face masks is coming days after the lockdown in the state was partially relaxed.

Delta Records Third COVID-19 Case

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]

 

Delta state on Saturday confirmed its third case of COVID-19, according to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa,

Okowa, who disclosed the news in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said the patient was diagnosed in Asaba and is currently being managed by healthcare professionals in an isolation centre.

He added that the sample of the case was taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital in Edo, and returned positive.

“The patient is currently in a good state and responding to treatment; and we have already began to track all those that have had contact with him,” Okowa said.

“I am pleased to report that the patient is in stable condition and is responding well to treatment from our team of medical professionals,” he said.

The Governor said the third case reinforced the need for social distancing and a lockdown.

“In consonance with the rules and according to international best practices as enunciated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the state government urges Deltans, especially Christians to worship from home as the lockdown order is still in force,” he said.

“We thank Deltans for their support so far and urge them to continue to obey relevant instructions as it has become apparent that the virus is spreading in the state.

“We will continue to partner the Federal Government on effective implementation of its regulations on measures to curtail further spread of the virus in our state and country.”

 

COVID-19: Doctors Down Tools In Asaba To Protest Police Molestation

 

Resident doctors in Asaba, the Delta State capital have down their tools in protest even as the country and state is battling to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

The doctors are protesting what they described as incessant molestation and harassment by the Nigeria Police officers.

President of the association of resident doctors, Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Asaba Chapter, Dr Nwabunor Osifo told journalists on Friday that the action is necessary following intimidation by the police against their members, especially in this period of lockdown.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: ‘I Am Humbled And More Informed,’ Bauchi Governor Says As He Fully Recovers

“Despite members showing the police officers valid Identification Cards, they still harass our members. An ugly incident happened today when one of our members had an emergency and was stopped by members of the police force.

“Things fell apart and sadly enough, our were members were teargased. Yes, doctors were teargased.

“In protest to this, we are embarking on indefinite and total shutdown. As doctors we are not callous, we feel for everyone,” Osifo said.

In his reaction, the State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, condemned the action of the police officers which he described as against the direction of the Inspector General of Police.

He added that the two officers have been arrested.

“The officer behaved in an unprofessional manner and in tune with IGP’s directive. We have consulted with medical union executives,” Inuwa added.

The Police Commissioner sued for peace and urged the doctors to rescind their decisions as the matter is currently being resolved.

Child Abuse: NAPTIP, Delta Govt Rescue 11-Year-Old Victim

 

An eleven-year-old girl has been rescued from the home of her foster parent, who is alleged to have subjected her to abuse in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The operation was carried out by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in collaboration with the state government, after a tip-off by members of that community.

The suspect, a widow in her forties, initially resisted arrest but was eventually taken away by the officials to the NAPTIP zonal office in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Court Of Appeal In Delta To Be Inaugurated In February

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Court of Appeal complex of the Asaba division in Delta State will be completed and inaugurated on February 3, 2020.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa disclosed this on Tuesday after inspecting the ongoing work at the complex located at Mariam Babangida Way in Asaba.

He also expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far on the project, noting that the court would bring relief to Deltans who previously had to travel long distances to other states to seek justice.

Read Also: We Shut Borders Due To Influx Of Arms, Hard Drugs, Buhari Tells Akufo-Addo

Delta State is one of the four states which have been approved to have Courts of Appeal – a development that the governor says would help ensure speedy delivery of justice for the people.

Okowa also inspected the Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat project where he acknowledged the contributions of traditional rulers to the development of the state, particularly in ensuring peaceful co-existence in their domains.

PDP Ward Chairman Killed By Gunmen In Delta

 

A young man identified as Paul Onomuakpokpo, has been killed by gunmen suspected to be hired assassins.

Mr. Paul who was also the ward Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State was killed on Wednesday night along the Ogoni Road near the palace of Olomu Kingdom.

Reports suggest that armed assassins ambushed the PDP Chieftain and rained bullets on him and his Toyota Camry car.

He dies from his gunshot injuries.

Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

The police spokesman, however, noted that no arrest has been made, the state police command says investigations are still ongoing.

Medical Doctor Kidnapped In Delta State

 

Some gunmen have kidnaped a medical doctor identified as Dr Jerry Isogun, who is also the President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD DELSUTH Oghara, Delta State.

This was confirmed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Harrison Adja, on Thursday.

According to the statement, Dr. Isogun was kidnapped on Wednesday night while on his way from his primary place of assignment in Oghara, to Sapele where he lives.

The association also disclosed that an attempt had been made on their colleagues last month, and another one escaped the same kidnappers just about 20minutes before the president was kidnapped.

With the increase in the spate of kidnapping around the Oghara-Sapele-Warri and Oghara-Benin axis, the association has called on the government to come to their aid.

“We are therefore calling on delta state government, security agents, chairmen of the adjoining LGAs, and traditional rulers to beef up security around these areas, to forestall such happening in the future.

“We are also calling on the Federal Government to ensure that these roads are fixed as a matter of urgency to avert future occurrence”.