Governor Ifeanyi Okowa says the state government has acquired 19 Ventilators, monitors and other critical equipment for the management of COVID-19 cases should they occur in the state.

Okowa disclosed this in a radio and television broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

He announced the immediate suspension of all public gatherings, including burials, weddings, conferences and seminars, with over 20 persons in attendance, as 
part of measures to protect the people from contracting the deadly coronavirus which had been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Governor also directed that civil servants from Grade Levels 1  – 12 should stay at home till further notice, and also suspended the application of Biometric system for daily attendance of workers to work in the state till further notice.

He, however, stated that workers on essential services were exempted from the order, and urged Deltans to avoid unnecessary travels in and outside the state.

Okowa urged all Deltans to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 – 60 seconds and use alcohol-based Sanitisers, practice 
Social Distancing: maintain at least two metres (six feet) between them and others, especially those coughing or sneezing.

The Governor said anyone who recently returned from high- risk countries such as China, USA, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, UK, Iran, South Korea and Japan, must self-isolate from friends, family and others for a minimum of 14 days, adding that all who had close contact with those who visited high incidence countries should also self-isolate for the same period.

He said government had taken certain steps to mitigate the impact if and when cases were detected in the State; pointing out that a Multi-sectoral Committee had been put in place and the State Emergency Operation Centre activated, while health personnel had been selected and trained, just as a purpose-built Isolation Centre had been completed at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba ready for use.

Okowa added that three other Isolation Centres were being prepared at the now completed Central Hospital, Asaba; Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara and Central Hospital, Warri, and Personal Protective Equipment for health workers were in stock to protect them and increase capacity.

okowa added that “all institutions of learning – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary – are to close for a period of 30 days at the end of school hours on Wednesday, 25th March, 2020.

“Malls, supermarkets, restaurants, banks, hotels and bars must, in addition to providing Sanitizers at various entry points, ensure social distancing by allowing only few persons at a time.

“Market leaders are to ensure that Sanitizers are provided at all entry points to the markets. Failure to do this will attract sanction from the Government.

“All night clubs/lounges and cinemas are to be closed forthwith, while all burials and social events must be low-key, not attracting crowds of more than twenty (20) persons or be put off indefinitely.

“Security agencies will be directed to enforce this henceforth. Social distancing must be complied with.’’

He announced that the State Government would immediately convene a meeting with religious bodies and their leaders to take far-reaching decisions on worshipping.

The Governor, however, said all crusades and conferences must be suspended for now.

He directed all local government chairmen to urgently meet with traditional rulers and opinion leaders in their domains to partner the State in carrying out the advocacy to curtail the spread of the virus.

Okowa further directed that henceforth buses and taxis must provide hand sanitzers for travellers, adding that all town union gatherings or youth conferences/gatherings were prohibited until further notice.

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