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Delta attributes surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases to increased testing

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Ifeanyi Okowa


• Insists 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew still in force
• Seals up bars for disregard to directives

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said that the surge in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state currently at 116, with 31 discharged and 77 active cases, was due to increased community testing occasioned by the recent establishment of a testing laboratory in Asaba.

The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, said that the mobile laboratory testing centre had contributed immensely to increased detection and treatment of cases of the virus in the state, adding that the establishment of the centre was part of pragmatic steps taken by the state in providing needed facilities and personnel to combat the pandemic.

The CPS, in an interview with a cable medium in Asaba, noted that before now, the entire South-South states were going to Irrua in Edo State to test samples with the attendant queue that they encountered until about one month ago when the state acquired one testing laboratory in Delta.

Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, at the weekend confirmed that a two-month-old baby was among the 116 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, and that pediatricians were taking care of the child and expressed optimism that the baby would get better and be discharged.

In another development, Delta State Task Force on COVID-19 Containment has sealed three major hotels – Hampton Towers, Golden Tulips, Vienna International, for flouting set protocols to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie, who disclosed this yesterday, said that the sealed bars were crowded without any sign of physical distancing, with most of the guests not wearing face-masks, which are clearly a compromise on the lives of our people.

The SSG, who decried the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, warned hotel operators on the consequences of not adhering to the directives of not opening their bars and restaurants to people who are not guests in the hotels.

Ifeajika, who reiterated that Okowa was determined to nip the challenge, which is not peculiar to the state, in the bud, with the establishment of “Operation Delta Hawk” as it had become obvious that the situation was overwhelming the security agencies, especially the police, said: “Establishment of the centre has given room now for testing more patients.

“We currently have twelve holding centres, six isolation and treatment centres, with all equipment and personnel needed in place.

“Some organisations have also supported us as a government to put other equipment in place, especially in the setting up of two new fully-equipped isolation and treatment centres. “Schools, night clubs, bars and lounges were still locked down.”


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