Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has ordered the closure of all primary, secondary and tertiary schools in the state with effect from Thursday, March 26, 2020 for 30 days in connection with Coronavirus pandemic.
Okowa, who gave the order in a statewide broadcast in Asaba on Friday said the closure of the schools was aimed at preventing possible spread of the virus.
He stated that as at March 20, Delta was free from the Coronavirus but needed to take precautionary measures to ensure that the pandemic did not spread to Delta.
The Governor assured that the state government had taken several measures,, including the establishment of a purpose-built and well-equipped isolation centre at the Federal Medical Centre in Asaba to handle any emergency and guard against the spread of the virus.
He added that the state government was assisting in the local production of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, assuring that government would not spare any effort or resource to ensure the health, safety and protection of citizens.
Okowa advised that it was important for people to know that observing proper hygiene and World Health Orgainsation-mandated safety protocols remained the best way to protect citizens and stop the spread of the virus.
The Governor said it was no longer news that the world was currently battling with the Coronavirus, pointing out that as at March 16, cases of COVID-19 had been reported in 151 countries, including Nigeria with 12 confirmed cases recorded so far.
He said there had been no confirmed case of Coronavirus in Delta State, but that government had taken some proactive steps to prevent the spread of the disease and stop transmission if it occurred.
Okowa further stated that the state government had embarked on training of laboratory scientists on sample collection, adding that Arrival cards would now be completed by all in-bound passengers and crew in the two airports in Warri and Asaba as well as the three seaports in Warri, Koko, and Sapele.
The Governor emphasized that COVID-19 currently had no cure, adding that the virus was believed to spread mainly through person-to-person contact and could be transmitted through handshakes, coughing and sneezing by a carrier as the droplets could fall on the mouths and noses of people around, or possibly inhaled.
Okowa cautioned that the best way to prevent the virus was to avoid being exposed to it by avoiding close contact with sick people or those who appeared to be sick.
He maintained that people must practise social distancing; avoid handshakes and hugs, keep about five feet distance when talking with others, adding that they must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds after leaving the office, workshop, market, bus/taxi, motor parks, and public gathering of any sort, and do the same after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
Okowa appealed to the people of Delta state to remain calm and vigilant, assuring that the current threat could be overcome if all could abide by the precautionary measures and every other information from the National Centre for Disease Control.
The Governor said in the event of any emergency, people should call the State Epidemiologist on 08030758179, the State Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer on 08035078541, the State Incident Manager on 08033521961 or the State Health Educator on 09065031241.