…19-yr Edo state model resides in Port Harcourt
…travelled to France, Italy, Greece before arriving PH March 16
…self-isolated for 14 days
…Gov directs closure of markets from March 28
…civil servants from levels 1–10 to stay home indefinitely
…but hydrocarbon firms urge for border relaxation
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has narrated how the state recorded its first positive index case of the raging Coronavirus (COVID-19) which was earlier announced by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The governor said in a broadcast that the state has confirmed the index positive case of coronavirus in the state, declaring that the State Government has commenced contact tracing of all those she had contact with.
Governor Wike sounded somewhat disappointed, said: “It is unfortunate that despite all the preventive measures we put in place, our State has recorded a positive case as confirmed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
She is a 19-year-old female model from Edo State who resides in Port Harcourt. Her travel history reveals that she travelled to France, Italy and Greece before returning to Port Harcourt on 16 March. On arrival to Port Harcourt, she was asymptomatic and commenced self-isolation in her family house before her samples were collected and sent to the Reference Laboratory, Irrua in Edo State.
Governor Wike said the patient is presently being managed at the State Treatment Centre, and she is doing excellently well.
“As it is in normal established practice, intensive line listing and contact tracing of all those she came in contact with has commenced in full force. In addition, samples have been collected from high risk contacts for further evaluations, while decontamination process has also commenced,” he said.
He said, “as the state chief executive, I want to sincerely thank this young lady for her patriotic spirit which aided health officials to get relevant information in this direction May I, therefore, urge you all to remain calm, because there is no cause for alarm. The State Government is fully prepared to ensure that the incident is contained to avoid further spread.”
He directed civil servants from grade levels 1–10 to remain at home from Friday, March 27 until further notice. All markets in the State, no matter how small, are to remain closed with effect from Saturday, March. All Local Government chairmen are to head Task Forces in their various local government areas that will ensure that markets remain closed. Council chairmen are empowered to confiscate the goods of defaulters. All commissioners and special advisers are to monitor the compliance of the above directives in their various local government areas.
He equally directed security agencies to enforce all the decisions taken by the state’s security council.
Meanwhile, some hydrocarbon and energy companies have asked the governor to “relax” the border closure measure. Nigeria LNG Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, International Breweries Plc, Oilserve Limited and Nigerian Gas Company requested the governor to the effect that the state government should relax the border closure as it would heavily affect their operations.
“Government cannot grant their requests now because the protection of human life is more important than any other thing; and we shall do everything necessary to fulfil our obligation in this direction. However, we shall review our restrictions concerning their activities when we are fully convinced that it will be reasonable to do so. Let me reiterate that we have taken these painful decisions because we cannot afford to lose any life in this State,” Governor Wike said.
He urged all citizens to continue to practice hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing to keep our dear State safe.