The governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has urged residents to observe set guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) amid electioneering campaigns as death toll for the virus in the state hits 82.
Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Obaseki called for caution to protect the state’s aged population, who are most vulnerable to the virus.
Obaseki said: “We have one of the highest death rates from COVID-19 in Nigeria. 75 per cent of those who have died from COVID-19 are our older citizens.
“This mortality rate is of serious concern to the state government, because many of these deaths could have been prevented if citizens adhered to COVID-19 prevention regulations. I am therefore urging everyone to observe the guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus such as regular hand washing under running water and use of alcohol-based sanitiser; and avoiding gatherings with a large number of persons.
“Political activities leading to the governorship election on September 19 have commenced. I appeal to everyone to exercise caution and observe the regulatory guidelines for prevention of COVID-19 during electioneering campaigns,” the governor said, according to a press statement made available to newsmen on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Patrick Okundia, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to contain the pandemic across all communities in the state and protect the people.
Mr Okundia, who expressed worry over the alarming spate of community spread of the virus, said: “Edo has now recorded a total of 2, 292 confirmed cases, 10, 555 suspected cases and 82 deaths, while 1,800 persons have been discharged from various isolation centres in the state.”
The commissioner reassured that contact tracing and line-listing activities are on-going in all affected LGAs in the state, while active case search and Persons of Interest (POI) tracking are ongoing in all the 18 LGAs.
Mr Okundia added: “Two toll-free lines for COVID-19 response have been introduced by the Edo State Government to strengthen the initial lines from the State Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) distributed at the onset of the outbreak. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call 08001235111 or 08002200110 for assistance.”