The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has expressed concern over the rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, noting that the recent upsurge suggests that the community spread of the virus is alarming.
Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, reassured that the state government remains committed to containing the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting Edo people.
The governor said, “The first case was reported on the 23rd of March 2020, it took 60 days to reach the first 100 cases. But it took 10 days to move from 100 to over 200 cases. It tells you that the community spread is alarming.”
The governor said, the state has screened over 260,000 people, from whom over 1,671 samples were collected for testing, with 240 cases confirmed in the state.
According to him, “Our strategy is simple: screen, test and treat. We have a target to screen a minimum of 500,000 people and test 5,000 persons. As a government, we need to take some drastic actions because if we continue at this level, we will not be able to cope.
“We are beginning to see the numbers of death increase in the last five to six days. We recently lost three persons bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 10 persons. The number should not be taken for granted. We need to take the social distancing guideline seriously to curtail the spread of the COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, reassured that the government has taken steps to contain the pandemic, noting that Edo State has over 600-bed capacity holding and isolation centres spread across different health facilities in Benin, Auchi and Irrua, to manage confirmed cases of the virus.
Okundia, however, charged all residents to take advantage of the ongoing massive screening and testing exercise in the state to know their COVID-19 status.
The commissioner added, “We urge you to comply with all government directives, aimed at ensuring the health and safety of all residents. Stay at home and observe social distancing and other precautionary measures against the spread of the disease, including regular handwashing with soap under running water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing. Also do well to report anyone with oversea travel history.”