GOVERNMENT OF DELTA STATE, NIGERIA: Rejoinder

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Our attention has been drawn to an erroneous headline story in the Daily Sun newspaper of Tuesday, June 23, 2020 titled “strange deaths hit Delta COVID-19 team: 20 ad-hoc personnel die”.

The story demonstrates ignorance of the status of COVID-19 response in Delta State.

In the said article, the newspaper claimed that no fewer than 20 persons mostly as-hoc personnel in the fight against COVID-19 died after brief illness.

According to the paper “An inside source said they may have died as a result of the ravaging global disease, adding that reports of the demise were being kept under wraps to avoid tension” it said.

This is clearly another example of irresponsible and junk journalism and an attempt by Daily Sun newspaper to raise mischief and confusion.

For the benefit of Deltans and the general public, the facts on Delta response to COVID-19 are as follows:

  1. Delta State COVID-19 Team has not recorded any death among its personnel. It is on record that the State government made available adequate number of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its health workers.
  2. As at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 the State has recorded 21 deaths of which none is part of the State’s COVID-19 team (health worker).
  3. Delta State has one of the most extensive and transparent documentation of COVID-19 response statistics in Nigeria. The daily updates of the reports are in public domain in the under listed social media outlets: i. the official face book page of the State Commissioner for Information @officalcharlesaniagwu : (Facebook) @official_charles_aniagwu ii. the official face book page of the State Ministry of Information @delmininfo iii. Delta State: @dsgovernment
    iv. Orientation:@dsorientationbureau
    v. Okowa:@iaokowa
    vi. the State Ministry of Health’s Twitter/Face book (@deltasmoh/Deltasmoh Asaba)

Being one of the foremost news dailies in the country, it is quite unfortunate that Daily Sun newspaper could publish such stories without verifying the facts. Daily Sun newspaper should therefore find other ways of selling their paper and not resort to sensational journalism.

The public is hereby advised to disregard the publication and avail themselves of the true state of affairs of COVID-19 in Delta State through the official social media accounts stated above.

Ojebo Donald

Public Relations Officer

Ministry of Health, Asaba

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