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Delta denies ordering compulsory COVID-19 test, explains stringent measures

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The Delta State Government has refuted reports that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa directed government officials and all civil servants to undergo compulsory COVID-19 tests.

Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Olisa Ifeajika, said contrary to the reports, Okowa’s position since the global pandemic spread to the state had always been appeal to citizens to observe protocols prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to contain the spread of the virus.

In a statement in Asaba yesterday, he added that the governor had also continued to advise that anyone who felt sick should go to any of the COVID-19 centres across the state for proper checks and treatment.

“There was no time the governor gave any directive, either through internal memo or press statement that government officials should go for test for any disease, including COVID-19.

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“The reports are deliberate falsehood. The concocted stories, especially the one that stated that no fewer than 43 members of Government House press crew tested positive for COVID-19, only existed in the imagination of the authors, as I never spoke to any journalist on the matter,” the statement added.

He said government would continue to announce any development in the management of the pandemic through its official channels, adding that the CPS’ office was available for journalists to seek clarification on any issues,

However, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chiedu Ebie, has been discharged from the Isolation Centre in Asaba where he was being treated for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, following the rising cases of coronavirus in the state, government has resolved to take stringent measures in ensuring full compliance with prescribed protocols to check further spread of COVID-19.

Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, who disclosed this in Asaba said some of the measures included establishment of more mobile courts to handle violators of government’s directives and introduction of new guidelines to ensure effective containment of the virus.

“Based on the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, more stringent measures will be taken to ensure compliance because coronavirus is real and more mobile courts will be established to try those who flout the protocols.

“Also, a task force to ensure compliance will be set up and any hotel, bar or restaurant that flouts the protocols will be shut down. Coronavirus is not a death sentence so people should freely go for screening for the disease,” he stated.

He stressed that Churches and other public places should strictly observe reasonable social-distancing, while those who must open their shops should continue to attend to people with face masks, or risk closure of their shops.

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