Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki has called for calm after the state recorded its first case of coronavirus.
Briefing newsmen on Monday in Benin city, the state capital, the Governor assured that the state has an action plan to tackle the disease.
“I am addressing you today on the COVID-19 pandemic that has destabilise the economies and social existence of many countries in the last four months. COVID-19 has finally found its way into our country.
“In Edo State, we have developed our action plan to cope with the pandemic. The postponed National Sports Festival, Edo 2020 gave us the opportunity to put in place a contingency plan. We have three isolation centres in Benin, Irrua and Auchi, a Federal Government testing centre in Irrua and a large number of well-trained certified workers to trace and treat patients.
“Coronavirus is not a death sentence, so there is no need to panic. With swift identification and proper management and care, many persons who had been infected with the virus have made full recoveries, if we all work together to take the right precautions.
“The common signs and symptoms of the coronavirus infection include dry cough, fever and difficulty in breathing,” he said.
“Since COVID-19 is a virus that is transmitted from one person to another through close contact, the most effective and proven remedy to reduce its spread is through social distancing. Social distancing involves reducing as much as possible physical contacts with others.
“Edo State government therefore advises that from today (Monday), every citizen should practice social distancing to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
“In order to give effect to our social distancing policy, gatherings of more than 50 is prohibited in Edo State till further notice. All schools are to remain closed in Edo State till further notice.
“Public transportation will remain in operation. However, crowding in commercial vehicles should be avoided.
“All public officers below grade level 12 (except those providing essential services, such as fire and healthcare) should work from home till further notice.
“Citizens are advised to postpone unnecessary travels in and out of Edo State and if possible stay at home,” he said.
“If you or you know of anyone who arrived from Europe, America or Asia in the last 30 days, please give the details of such persons, including their phone numbers so that we can provide screening and any required support to them. You should call: 08084096723, 0806425816, 08035835529, 08074132019.
“If you or any relative notice any signs and symptoms of coronavirus, please report to the nearest designated hospitals (Central hospital, Edo Specialist Hospital, Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Auchi General Hospital) for monitoring, possible testing and treatment for better chances of recovery.
“The Edo State government is interested in the health, welfare and social support for vulnerable group, particularly the elderly and persons with chronic diseases. Please call and report any case to 08084096723, 0806425816, 08035835529, 08074132019.
“The Edo State task force on COVID-19, which is headed by me and made up of prominent leaders in the state, will meet frequently to review and update the situation,” he said.
Governor Obaseki further urged the citizens to adhere to all safety measures.
“As you go about your daily activities, apply extra caution to wash hands regularly under running water and use alcohol-based sanitisers.
“As we face this challenge, I call on Edo residents to remain calm and co-operate with us and ensure you follow the instructions and steps which have been outlined to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Be rest assured that your government will provide the required leadership and support to check this pandemic in Edo State,” he said.