Bayelsa State government has put in place measures to prevent outbreak and spread of the deadly Corona Virus in the state.
Governor Douye Diri gave the assurance at a meeting with the state health team in Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor in a press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said his administration would give priority attention to the health and safety of the people at all times.
He urged residents not to panic over the Corona Virus pandemic just as he expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the state health team toward containing the disease, also known as COVID-19.
He however expressed concern over the thousands of deaths caused by the pandemic in China and other parts of the world, while assuring the team of the necessary support to keep the state safe.
His words: “You are aware that globally there is a phenomenon that is threatening the health of all citizens. We thought it was a phenomenon that was far away from Africa, not to mention our country, Nigeria.
“But, unfortunately, the latest reports and developments are that the virus that had devastated China and other countries, where people are dying in their thousands, is now with us in Nigeria.
“As a government, we felt it was necessary to invite you to look at more safety valves so that we can take additional preemptive actions to ensure that this devastating disease does not come into Bayelsa State.”
Briefing the governor on the level of preparedness against the COVID-19, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Apoku Nathaniel-Inodu, said the ministry is working closely with the National Centre for Disease Control.
Dr Nathaniel-Inodu also stressed the ministry’s readiness to collaborate with other critical stakeholders such as the police, immigration and customs to promptly identify foreigners entering the state.
He noted that the ministry has opened a dedicated line for people to report suspected cases, even as it pays special attention to Brass Local Government Area as possible entry point of the Corona Virus because of its strategic location.
In his contribution, the Head of Public Health in the ministry, Dr Jones Stowe, said the NCDC has already inspected and approved the state Isolation Centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri.
According to Dr Stowe, arrangements concerning the transfer of serious Corona Virus cases to the nearest treatment centre, which is in Port Harcourt, had also been worked out.
He however said the NCDC emphasised the need for sufficient training of front line health personnel, provision of more protective equipment for their use and robust enlightenment campaign to check fake news in the social media.