A medical doctor has tested positive for COVID-19 in Bayelsa State, bringing the number of active cases in the state to two.
Governor Douye Diri announced the new confirmed case on Tuesday, 19th May, during a meeting of the Covid-19 Taskforce, which he chairs, at the Government House, Yenagoa.
A press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the doctor, who is a staff of the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, was earlier admitted at a private hospital before he tested positive for the virus.
His travel history showed that he came into the state from a trip to neighbouring Delta State.
The hospital has been shut down for decontamination to commence.
The governor, who noted that five positive COVID-19 patients had been successfully treated and discharged, cautioned frontline medical personnel handling active cases to adhere strictly to laid down protocols.
Arising from the resolutions taken by the taskforce, Senator Diri directed that the presidential directives of inter-state lockdown be adopted for another two weeks as well as the dusk-to-dawn curfew of 8pm to 6am.
He equally stated that the stay-at-home order for civil servants on grade levels 01-12 be extended for another two weeks as part of strategies to contain the spread of the scourge.
Diri further directed the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Onyeama to liaise with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, the Chief Medical Director of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital and his counterpart at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa as well as the Director of Public Health to devise a plan on the gradual return to work of the affected civil servants.
On the issue of worship centres maintaining the social distancing order, the governor permitted Muslims in the state to hold the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir prayers but stressed the need for them to observe all the rules and regulations on COVID-19.
He also relaxed the order on burials in the state but directed that all mortuaries sign an undertaken with the deceased families to abide by the COVID-19 protocols.
“During such burials, there shall be no social gathering, including daytime or night reception or dance,” he said.
The governor further stated tha all VIPs and those on essential services coming into the state must submit themselves to screening at the boundary points.
Senator Diri, who observed that the state government had not received any donations from the federal government and the World Health Organisation, however highlighted a number of donors that had assisted the state both in kind and cash towards mitigating the impact of the dreaded virus.
The donors are former President Goodluck Jonathan, who donated 1,000 bags each of rice and beans while the immediate past governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson, gave N10 million.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, also made a donation of two motorised modular fumigators while one Mr. Freeborn David donated 150 face masks.
Others are First City Monument Bank, Yenagoa branch 114 cartons of instant noodles, 979 10kg bags of rice, 80 packets of face masks, Ecobank 350 10kg bags of rice, 370 5kg bags of garri, Academic Staff Union of Universities Port Harcourt zone 100 milligrams of 500 bottles of sanitisers as well as the Yenagoa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association 50 bottles of 200 milligram sanitisers.
Today, I met with members of the state taskforce on COVID-19.
The meeting reviewed measures taking so far in the fight against the global pandemic in the state.
At the end, the following was agreed:
1. As a state, we will implement the two weeks “Gradual Ease” of the lockdown by the Federal Government.
2. Our borders will remain closed for another two weeks.
3. The 8pm to 6am daily curfew remains in force for the next two weeks.
4. Civil servants on grade levels 1-12 to remain at home for another two weeks while the Head of Service was directed to work out a plan for gradual return of all affected staff to work.
5. Muslims are allowed to hold their prayers but must abide by the existing rules.
6. Churches with large auditoriums that can contain as much as 100 persons can hold their service but must maintain the social distancing rule.
Although Bayelsa is among the states that has the least case of the COVID-19, we still need to be vigilant. We are optimistic that within the next two weeks things will improve but in the meantime, I urge you all to play your role as we continue the fight against the virus.
– Gov. Douye Diri