The Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has banned all gatherings involving more than 20 persons in the state. It was disclosed in a Nationwide broadcast. It reads as follow; Advertisement My Dear Deltans, 1. For the second time in one week, I am addressing you on the coronavirus pandemic. 2. As of 2 pm today, 24th March 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed 42 cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. While there is no case of COVID – 19 confirmed in Delta State, we must take some precautionary measures to prevent, as well as limit infection if it occurs.
3. The Multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group led by NCDC has activated its National Emergency Operation Centre, and they are working closely with State Health authorities.
4. I wish to urge all Deltans to adhere strictly to the following precautionary measures: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 – 60 seconds and use alcohol-based Sanitisers. Social Distancing: maintain at least two meters (six feet) between yourself and anyone, especially those coughing or sneezing.
Persons who are coughing or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance. They should not mix in a crowd. Ensure good respiratory hygiene by coughing into your sleeve at the bent elbow or using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose. Then dispose of the tissue immediately. Deltans are advised to avoid all non-essential travel within or outside the State. It is essential we realize that the virus does not spread itself; it is covered by people. If you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and have difficulty in breathing, call the following numbers for guidance:- 0803 123 0480, 0803 123 04
(viii) Do not engage in self-medication. 5. My dear Deltans, in the spirit of love for one another, anyone of us who has recently returned from high-risk countries such as China, USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, UK, Iran, South Korea, Japan, must self-isolate from friends, family, and others for a minimum of 14 days. All who have had close contact with those who visited these high incidence countries are also advised to self-isolate for the same period.
6 On our part, we have taken specific steps to mitigate the impact if and when cases are detected in our State; A multi-sectoral Committee has been put in place, and the State Emergency Operation Centre activated. Health Staff has been selected and trained adequately.
(ii) The State Government has completed a purpose-built Isolation Centre at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba. The center is ready for use.
(iii) Three other Centres at the now completed central Hospital, Asaba, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, and Central Hospital, Warri are being prepared as additional Centres.
Centres. (iv) To protect healthcare personnel and increase capacity, Personal Protective Equipment for Health Staff are in stock, and we have continued to scout for more. (v) The State Government has also packaged incentives for critical health staff who will be engaged in COVID-19 treatment and management. In the last 48 hours, we have paid for and taken delivery of 19 No: ventilators and a good number of Monitors for use by our medical staff. (vi) Other critical needs, including Dialysis machines, dedicated to COVID -19 case management, will be installed.
7. I urge Deltans not to panic, but we must all commit to best behaviors by keeping to the advice of the NCDC and State officials.
8. Please do not spread false information on social media, as it will do us no good. DIRECTIVES All institutions of learning: Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary are to close for 30 days at the end of School hours on Wednesday, 25th March 2020. All workers on grade levels 1 -12 (except those on essential duties (Health Staff, Fire Services, Water Corporation/agencies) are to stay at home effective 26th March 2020. Biometric operations at all levels of Government are at this moment suspended till further notice Malls, supermarkets, restaurants, banks, hotels, and bars must, in addition to providing Sanitizers at various entry points, ensure social distancing by allowing only a few persons at a time. Market leaders to ensure that Sanitizers are provided at all entry points to the markets. Failure to do this will attract sanction from the Government. All night clubs/lounges and cinemas are to be closed immediately. All burials and social events must be low-key, not attracting crowds of more than twenty (20) persons or be put off indefinitely. Security Agencies will be directed to enforce this henceforth. Social distancing must be complied with. The State Government is to immediately convene a meeting with religious bodies and their leaders to enable us to take far-reaching decisions on worship. However, all crusades and conferences must be suspended for now. All Local Government Council Chairmen are at this moment directed to urgently meet with traditional rulers and opinion leaders (men/women) in their domain to partner with the State in carrying out this advocacy to curtail the spread of the infection. All buses and taxis must provide hand Sanitizers for travelers. All town union gatherings or youth conferences/gatherings are prohibited until further notice. All political gatherings and conferences, summits and gatherings involving more than 20 persons are banned until further notice.
9. Together and with God on our side, we shall overcome this plague. Office of the Governor Okowa, Government House, Asaba, March 24th, 2020 # Okowa