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Rivers State government expresses readiness to contain Coronavirus

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Amid growing concerns about the possible spread of Coronavirus across the country, the Rivers State Ministry of Health has assured residents of its readiness and capacity to contain Coronavirus.

Director, Public Health and Disease Control, Golden Owhonda, said the state, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified as one of the high-risk states in the country in the event of possible outbreak of the virus, was building its surge efforts.

Owhonda, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Chinwe Tonye Atata, stated this at meeting organised by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim with officials of the Ministry of Health in Port Harcourt yesterday.

He emphasised the preparedness of the ministry to check the entrance of the virus to the state and its containment, noting that having successfully handled similarl situation during Ebola outbreak, the state was ready to combat the Coronavirus.

He, however, cautioned that the ministry needed to up its game because coronavirus was new, saying, “In terms of capacity for case management, we’re building our surge efforts. We’re training more ad-hoc staff for readiness although we have one of the best hands in the country.

“Because we’ve been exposed to Ebola, we’ve had cases of Lassa fever and so, the capacity for pathogenic disease containment is very strong here in Rivers State.
He explained that Governor Nyesom Wike had provided everything necessary to ensure that the state maintains safe health.

“The governor has made all the logistics available to ensure that we put the technicality on ground to interrupt any transmission. Rivers State occupies a strategic place in terms of trade and traffic. So, we’re not leaving any stone unturned from the technical perspective,” he said.

Owhonda urged the media to enlighten members of the public to observe universal safety precautionary measures to avoid contacting the disease, adding that such measures include hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, which “simply means washing your hands appropriately, especially when you feel it’s soiled and observing cough etiquette, among others.”

Speaking, Nsirim, called for the commitment of the media to give relevant information at the right time, stressing that it was essential for the media to understand its social responsibility to society in terms of providing relevant information to ensure safe health.

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