Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a one-week stay-at-home for residents of the state following the index COVID-19 case reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday night.
Senator Diri, who gave the directive in a state broadcast on Monday, said everyone except those on essential duties should remain at home with effect from the night of April 27 in order to effectively contain the spread of the virus in the state.
In a press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor said one of the five test results received for the state was positive for COVID-19, saying it was the first confirmed case in Bayelsa.
Senator Diri described the patient as a 49-year-old female with a history of hypertension and diabetes, who presented with non-productive cough, headache, fever and chest pain within a week duration.
The governor noted that the patient, who is now clinically stable, was admitted at the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital where she was being managed for malaria and uncontrolled hypertension with queried COVID-19.
While noting that the patient had no travel history, he disclosed that she had been evacuated to the isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in Okolobiri for further management but that she rejected the NCDC result.
The specialist hospital has, however, been closed down and decontamination procedures have commenced.
His words: “She was admitted at the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital where was being managed for malaria and uncontrolled hypertension with queried COVID-19. As of this morning, she has vehemently denied any travel history and has strongly rejected the test result. She is presently stable clinically even though in panic state.
“Contact tracing has commenced and samples will be collected from all contacts, including members of staff of the specialist hospital that were on duty as well as all persons who visited the facility during her admission.
“All high-risk contact samples will be collected and sent for testing while risk communication and community engagements will continue as usual. Prevention and early detection remain our focus of containment.”
To this end, Diri, who is chairman of the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce, advocated regular and thorough hand washing under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
He equally advised the people to continue observing social distancing, practice good respiratory hygiene by covering the nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing and proper disposal of used tissue.
The governor also directed sick persons with symptoms such as fever, cough, difficulty in breathing to stay at home and notify relevant authorities immediately.
He called on Bayelsans not to panic as the state government was on top of the situation even as he cautioned that they should not engage in spreading fake news or misinformation capable of causing panic.
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