By Ifeanyi Olannye
Delta Government on Thursday said it had recorded 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and commended media practitioners for their support against the pandemic in the state.
Mr Charles Aniagwu, State Commissioner for Information disclosed this when he visited the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Asaba, Correspondents’ Chapel.
Aniagwu said: “As at today we have 51 confirmed cases of the virus while 30 are active and receiving treatment; 14 have been discharged with seven patients dead.
“Our medical personnel have been up and doing and that is the reason the government is doing a lot to make life comfortable for them.’’
The commissioner in company of the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika and other media aides said they were at the chapel to interact with journalists and to thank them for their role in the fight against the pandemic.
He said that the state government appreciated the efforts of the journalists in informing Deltans on what the government was doing to combat the virus.
He urged the media practitioners to intensify effort at sensitising the people to the reality of the pandemic as many citizens still believed that issues of the virus was a scam.
“We have come here this afternoon to let you understand that even in the midst of the COVID-19, we still appreciate the role you have been playing in the fight against the pandemic.
“It gives us that sense that you have been working behind the scene; we appreciate the chapel and other journalists for the adequate reporting of the enormous achievements of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.
“You have made tremendous contributions and we are happy that you have continued to partner with us without placing any burden on us and we don’t take this support for granted,’’ Aniagwu said.
He said that the state government had done quite a lot in the management of the pandemic in the state.
He, however, appealed to the media practitioners to do more by projecting the state activities and to keep the people informed about the realities on ground.
“We still appeal to you to help us to educate those who think that coronavirus is a scam. We have seen the effect of the virus in developed countries and we don’t want that to happen to our people.
“The accolades we have received from media houses were because of the reports some of you had written, especially in our management of COVID-19 in Delta.
“Beyond that, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rated us second behind Lagos in standard of living index. Our target is to move the standard of living of all Deltans to an enviable height,” Aniagwu said.
On his part, Ifeajika reminded journalists that as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, it was their responsibility to partner government in development and also to make it accountable to the people.
He thanked members of the Correspondents’ Chapel for representing the profession well, especially in their contributions to developmental journalism.
Ifeajika, however, urged them to be circumspect and not to lift unverified reports from the Social Media.
Earlier, Chapel Chairman, Mr Paul Osuyi, said journalists in the state would be more thorough in their reportage.
He, however, called for more support for journalists in the state to enable them function effectively without intimidation.