Nigeria

Delta commissioner urges Nigerian government to shutdown all state borders

Charles Aniagwu

Delta State Government, has urged the Federal Government to close all inter State borders so as to effectively contain the spread of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu who stated this in Asaba while briefing newsmen on the State Government efforts to contain the spread or outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the State, debunked rumour making the rounds of somebody suffering from coronavirus in Ekpan, near Warri.

He advised Deltans against spreading fake news about the pandemic, appealing to the people to always sanitize their hands, maintain social distancing order.

He added that the State Government has acquired 19 ventilators with four well-equipped isolation centers in Asaba, Warri, Oghara and 12 holding centres across the State.

He said the suspected case in Ekpan was swiftly moved to Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, by the Central Committee on COVID-19, where she was diagnosed and discovered that she was not suffering from coronavirus.

Aniagwu said: “This is very unfortunate; this is not the best time to begin to generate and spread outright falsehood on the COVID-19 Pandemic. We want to seize this opportunity to warn Deltans to desist from unfounded stories, which will do us no good.

“We discovered that certain individuals are behaving like they want COVID-19 to come here. The committee gave out dedicated numbers to call, in case of any information regarding the COVID-19 scourge.

“A case was reported at Ekpan in Uvwie local government area, and the Central Committee on COVID19 promptly responded with an ambulance, which later turned out not to be the true story as our quick response team went there and moved her to Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara where she was checked and later discharged as she was free of the virus.

“We have ambulances that would transfer people from one medical facility to another. Let us not take it that the moment you see an ambulance carrying somebody, it automatically means it is a COVID-19 patient.

“We need to make this clear to avoid issues that are not necessary and heightening tension or encourage panic situations.

“If there is any COVID-19 in the state, the committee will inform the public accordingly, is not a thing anybody will hide. As at this moment, there is no case of confirmed COVID-19 in the state.

“You need to be tested and certified to have contracted the virus for you to be said to be suffering from COVID-19, not just to go to town with it because someone has high temperature.

“We have to apply caution as the number has continued to increase by the hour. Good enough, federal government has shut down some high risk states. Unfortunately, a number of states have not seen a reason to shut down, which will become dangerous after the 14 days, and we have been able to curtail it, and threw our borders open.

“If for instance Anambra and Edo states are not shutting down, there may be people in Edo or Anambra that will come into our state, which will make our efforts futile.

“That is why we are suggesting that the federal government has to shut down all the states of the federation, whether there is a confirmed case or not in such states. Some people are making the mistake that it is big man’s sickness.

“The reason is because they go for checks regularly. We must all be very careful with our health, avoid social visits, and avoid collusion with the security agencies.

“As part of our preventive measure and remaining proactive, the COVID-19 technical committee in the state has been able to break into departments.

“So we have those in charge of case management, lab, those to run our isolation centers, which are Federal Medical Center, and Central Hospital, both in Asaba, Warri and Oghara. We can isolate and begin treatments in these areas.

“We also have holding centers in our zonal hospitals where those suspected cases are kept before being moved to the isolation centers after confirmation.

“Aside from Lagos we are the only state with ventilators, which are applied at point of intensive care unit, which no case in Nigeria has been applied to.

On the level of compliance and the relationship with Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers, vehicular movement has continued, he said, “We will continue to deal with the loose ends and tighten them up. We have spoken with the security agencies to leave above board, avoid graft to allow movements”.

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