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‘Rising coronavirus cases in Edo evidence of improved testing capacity’

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Edo State Government yesterday declared that said the rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state in the past few days is the result of improved testing capacity aimed at preventing, treating and controlling the virus.

Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement revealed that the state government has procured four Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines.

He said government also acquired 5000 Viral Transport Medium (VTM), set up two testing centres, decentralised screening and sample collection, as well as incorporated private hospitals, as part of measures to check the spread of the pandemic, among other response strategies.

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“In the past few days, we have recorded an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our state. This is not happenstance; we set out to actually seek out these persons, which is part of our strategy to ascertain the spread of coronavirus in the state,” he said.

Osagie, therefore, urged Edo people to continue to adhere to the hygiene and safety precautions, including regular hand washing with soap under running water, use of alcohol-based sanitisers, wearing face masks in public, avoiding social gathering of over 20 persons, and staying indoors.

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Professor Lilian Salami has supported Edo State Government’s fundraising efforts, urging all good-spirited indigenes of the state to join in curbing the coronavirus pandemic.

Salami made the appeal at the inaugural meeting of the Edo State COVID-19 Fundraising Committee held virtually, to mobilise resources to boost government’s efforts at containing the spread of the virus

Also, Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Development Company (SPDC) Limited, Osagie Okunbor said there was the need for government to continue to drive communication for people to stay at home.

He said it was a brilliant idea to balance the economic realities of the times with the challenge of coronavirus, adding, “We need to ensure that we deploy communication channels to reach more of our people. So, it is important to engage with them.

“Balancing the spread of economic circumstances with the effects of the spread of the virus is important as well. Trying to get people to stay at home is important. That is why getting workers from level 12 and below to work from home is a good idea. It has been done in Lagos and Abuja,” he added.

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