Residents of Delta State have been admonished not to throw caution to the wind following the huge success the State has recorded in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, saying that deliberate effort should be made by the people to avoid the second wave of the pandemic
Dr. Michael Nwoko, Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Health Monitoring gave the warning on Tuesday while featuring in a Radio program on Covid-19 Update, monitored in Asaba, the Delta State Capital.
As at Tuesday 4th August, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases in Delta State was 1,520, active cases on admission were 90 while number of discharged cases stood at 1,387 with 43 deaths.
By this statistics, Dr. Nwoko said that it was clear Delta state has flattened the curve and was winning the war against the dreaded disease, even as he advised Deltans to continue to sustain the fight against the pandemic, adding that the battle is tougher when victory is on sight.
“the major challenges in the fight against pandemic are the belief system of the people which have made many not to believe that the virus is real and then the asymptomatic patients, those persons who may not know that they have the virus and are out there infecting others.
“The problem is not those who have tested positive because such persons will be isolated from the general population. But for the asymptomatic patients, they will be spreading the virus to other persons and you know that nobody has the right to infect others.
“That is why the safety protocols must be implemented by everybody so that those who have it will not be able to spread it and those who do not have it will not get it,” Dr. Nwoko said
He revealed that the escalating of testing in the State was a deliberate effort on the part of the Delta State Government under the leadership of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, stressing that it was in a bid to get many persons tested.
“The notion that it takes two to three weeks to get the result is not true. Even when we were using the laboratory at Irrua, we were getting test result within 2 to 3 days.
“The laboratories are not really fully under the control of the States. They are accredited by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), what the state does is to assist in the logistics and other support, but accreditation, training of personnel and management of the labs are done by NCDC, so they are called NCDC accredited labs.
“once a sample is sent and the result turn out positive, it is automatically released into NCDC server where the data is captured, same applies if patients tests negative. That is why we have daily nationwide updates on a daily bases. The figures are released by NCDC from their data base,” he clarified
Dr. Nwoko who is a member of the State COVID-19 team, also disclosed that the State is intensifying its advocacy mechanism, to sensitize the people toward adjusting their belief system in a bid to cope with the reality of COVID-19.
On resumption of schools, Nwoko noted that COVID-19 has made it necessary for the system to exploit other ways of teaching and learning without necessarily having physical classes, saying that learning could be done virtually as obtainable in the developed Countries.
“Our children have been at home for months and it will certainly affect their learning once they resume. University students have lost almost a session, however, the federal ministry of education had directed that schools be open on Tuesday 4th August, 2020, that is today, for certificate classes; those writing WAEC.
“The State COVID-19 team and ministry of education have made necessary arrangements for schools to reopen for students writing WAEC exams. There will be temperature checks, hand washing, wearing of facemask and of course physical distancing.”
“I have always maintained that the war against COVID-19 is on a tripod; adherence of the people to preventive protocols, enhancing testing capacity for data collection, because without adequate data, government will not have real figures required for planning. Then contact tracing of persons for proper management of cases,” he noted
The Medical Doctor expressed delight on the success recorded in the fight against COVID-19 in the State; however, he noted that attaining success in the battle was not the issue.
“The big problem is remaining there. Setting a bar is not the issue but maintaining the bar is the problem. That is why we must not stop our advocacy and sensitisation program. We are doing everything possible to enforce compliance to safety protocols.
“As you are aware, quite a number of hotels have been sealed off because they were not complying with safety regulations issued to them for operation. Some were organizing night parties and all sort of activities without observing social distancing and wearing of Facemasks. People must understand that we are still in partial lock down. We have moved from total lock down to partial lock down, so the dusk to dawn curfew is still very much in place.
“Local Government Authorities are enforcing compliance in their areas, keke are allowed to carry only two passengers at the back seat and buses are not allowed to carry more than two passengers in a roll. The Councils hold regular meetings with the SSG on these issues,” he stated and said that a lot of work was being done in that regard
He commended the coordinating abilities of the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and said that as a medical expert, he understands the nature of the public health crisis.
“This is the reason he swung into action immediately and his action is largely responsible for the results we are getting now.
“The bottom line is that we must not loss guide, we must continue to comply with safety guidelines in order to eradicate the virus from our State,” he admonished.