Obaseki calls for calm as Edo records first case of coronavirus

Edo State has joined the league of states to be afflicted with the coronavirus as it has just recorded the first case of the dreaded disease.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki who disclosed this in Benin yesterday however assured that the state government measures has put in place adequate measures to curtail its spread in the state.

Obaseki explained that even though the state had just witnessed its first case, there was no need to panic as the global pandemic was not a death sentence.

He said: “I am addressing you today on the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that has destabilised the economies and social existence of many countries in the last 4 months. COVID-19 has finally found its way into our country Nigeria reveals that there has been in the number of confirmed cases.

“In Edo State, we have developed our action plan to cope with the pandemic. The postponed National Sports Festival Edo 2020 gave us the opportunity to put in place a contingency plan. We have three isolation centers in Benin city, Irrua, and Auchi, a federal government testing center in Irrua and a large number of very well trained certified workers to trace and treat patients.

“Coronavirus is not a death sentence, so there is no need to panic. With swift identification and proper and management and care, many persons who had been infected with the virus have made full recoveries, if we all work together to take the right precautions.

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“The commons signs and symptoms of the coronavirus infection include dry cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing,” he said.

He said as part of its government to bring the dreaded virus to a standstill, various centers have been designated for those who have contracted the virus while social distance should also be fully maintained.

“Since COVID-19 is a virus that is transmitted from one person to another through close contact, the most effective and proven remedy to reduce its spread is through social distancing. Social distancing involves reducing as much as possible physical contact with others.

“The government of Edo State, therefore, advises that from today Monday 23 March 2020, every citizen should practice social distancing to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

“In order to give effect to our social distancing policy gatherings of more than 50 is prohibited in Edo state till further notice.

Obaseki said that all schools in the state are to remain closed until further notice while public transportation will remain in operation but advised people to avoid overcrowding in commercial vehicles.

He added: “All public officers below grade level 12 (except those providing essential services such as fire and healthcare) should work from home till further notice.

“Citizens are advised to postpone unnecessary travels in and out of Edo State and if possible stay at home.”

Obaseki called on the citizens of the state to report anyone who has just returned from Europe and other affected countries to the appropriate authority for prompt response and interventions.

“If you or you know of anyone who arrived from Europe, America or Asia in the last 30 days please give the details of such persons including their phone numbers so that we can provide screening and any required support to them. You should call 08084096723, 08064258163, 08035835529, 08074132019.

“If you or any relative notice any signs and symptoms of coronavirus, please report to the nearest designated hospitals(Central hospital, Edo Specialist Hospital, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Auchi General Hospital) for monitoring, possible testing, and treatment for better chances of recovery.

“The Edo State government is very interested in the health, welfare and social support for vulnerable group particularly the elderly and persons with chronic diseases. Please call and report any cases to 08084096723, 08064258163, 08035835529, 08074132019.

“The Edo State task force on COVID-19 which is headed by me and made up of prominent leaders in the state will meet frequently to review and update the situation”, he said.

Obaseki further urged the citizens of the state to adhere to all safety measures.

“As you go about your daily activities, apply extra caution to wash hands regularly under running water and use alcohol-based sanitisers.

“As we face this challenge, I call on Edo residents to remain calm and co-operate with us and ensure that you follow the instructions and steps which have been outlined to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Be rest assured that your government will provide the required leadership and support to check this pandemic in Edo State,” he said.

The Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), Prof. Sylvanus Okogbenin confirmed the first coronavirus case in Edo noting that the patient was stable and undergoing treatment.

“This is the first we are confirming in Edo State, it was somebody who traveled to one of the European countries, came back, and samples were taken to the state epidemiologist and they confirmed the diagnosis to be COVID-19.

“After that, was now isolated and receiving treatment. Many of the cases are not very severe; you have mild, moderate, severe and critical but this falls between the mild to moderate disease,” he said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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