By Ndubuisi Michaels
With the rising number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) recorded in Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Edo State, the government has enjoined residents to be cautious, proactive and observe all precautionary measures against the spread of the deadly virus.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, while speaking to journalists in Benin City, said Edo has so far recorded 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19, attributing the rise to improved capacity for testing and screening across the state’s 18 LGAs.
Okundia, who urged residents to be cautious to avoid contracting the virus, disclosed that Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor LGAs have recorded 48, 8 and 7 confirmed cases respectively, which make up 92 percent of the 79 confirmed cases in the state. Others are Esan West (4), Ovia North East (6), Uhunmwode (2), Etsako Central (1), Esan South East (1), Akoko-Edo (1) and Esan Central (1) LGAs.
According to him, “The Edo State Government is working assiduously to wipe out this deadly virus from all communities in our state, which is why we have increased screening and testing across Edo to determine the pattern of spread of the virus and ramp up efforts to contain the pandemic.
“So far, we have been able to screen over 104,000 people and tested over 700 citizens. This increased screening and testing is the reason for the increase in number of positive cases, which is currently at 79 persons. We are aggressively pushing to screen a minimum of 500,000 and test about 5,000 persons in the next few weeks.
“As we increase testing, we are likely to witness a considerable rise in the number of cases from Edo State; this calls for caution and carefulness by all, especially those residing in the disease endemic areas like Oredo, Ikpoba-Okha and Egor LGAs.”
“You are advised to avoid large gatherings and comply with all government directives to keep you safe and healthy. Stay at home and observe all precautionary measures against the spread of the disease, including regular handwashing with soap under running water and the use alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing”, he added.