CAUTION SHOULD NOT BE THROWN TO WIND TO AVOID A SECOND WAVE OF THE PANDEMIC
— DR MICHAEL NWOKO
By Frank Iroroh
Deltans and residents of the State have been admonished not to throw caution to the wind following the huge success Delta State has recorded in the fight against the COVID-19
Pandemic. As at today 4 August 2020, the total number of confirmed cases is 1,520, active cases on admission is 90 while number of discharged cases is 1,387 and 43 deaths.
By this statistics, it is clear that Delta state has flattened the curve and is winning the war against the dreaded disease.
These assertions were made by the Senior Special Assistant to the governor of Delta State on Health Monitoring and a member of the State COVID-19 team, Dr. Michael Nwoko.
Dr. Nwoko who featured at Bridge FM Radio Program on COVID-19 update in Delta State, on Tuesday 4th August 2020, advised Deltans to continue to sustain the fight against the pandemic, adding that the battle is tougher when victory is on sight.
His words, “the major challenges in the fight against pandemic are the belief system of the people which have made many not to believe that the virus is real and then the asymptomatic patients, those persons who may not know that they have the virus and are out there infecting others. The problem is not those who have tested positive because such persons will be isolated from the general population. But for the asymptomatic patients, they will be spreading the virus to other persons and you know that nobody has the right to infect others.
That is why the safety protocols must be implemented by everybody so that those who have it will not be able to spread it and those who do not have it will not get it.”
“This is the reason why testing has been escalated in Delta State so as to get many persons tested.
The notion that it takes two to three weeks to get the result is not true. Even when we were using the laboratory at Irrua, we were getting test result with 2 to 3 days.
The laboratories are not really fully under the control of the States. They are accredited by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), what the state does is to assist in the logistics and other support but accreditation, training of personnel and management of the labs are done by NCDC. so they are called NCDC accredited labs.
So once a sample is sent and the result turn out positive, it is automatically released into NCDC server where the data is captured, same applies if patients tests negative. That is why we have daily nationwide updates on a daily bases. The figures are released by NCDC from their data base.”
“The State is intensifying it’s advocacy mechanism, to sensitize the people to adjusted their belief system in other to cope with the reality of COVID-19. These includes compulsory use of facemask, regular washing of hands with soap under running water and of course social and physical distancing. These are safety protocols that we much adopt in order to defeat the pandemic.””
“On resumption of schools. I would like to say that COVID-19 has made it necessary for us to exploit other ways,of teaching and learning without necessarily having physical classes. Learning can be done virtually as obtainable in the developed Countries. Our children have been at home for months and it will certainly affect their learning once they resume. University students have lost almost a session.
However, the federal ministry of education had directed that schools be open today for certificate classes. Those writing WAEC.”
“The State COVID-19 team and ministry of education have made necessary arrangements for schools to reopen for students writing WAEC exams. There will be temperature checks, hand washing, wearing of facemask and of course physical distancing.”
“No matter how benevolent the actions of the government is, without the cooperation of the people, government actions alone will not achieve desired results.
I have always maintained that the war against COVID-19 is on a tripod; adherence of the people to preventive protocols, enhancing testing capacity for data collection, because without adequate data, government will not have real figures required for planning. Then contact tracing of persons for proper management of cases.”
“We have huge success today in the fight against COVID-19, that is a great news, but attaining success in this battle is not the issue. The big problem is remaining there. Setting a bar is not the issue but maintaining the bar is the problem. That is why we must not stop our advocacy and sensitisation program.”
“We are doing everything possible to enforce compliance to safety protocols.
As you are aware, quite a number of hotels have been sealed off because they were not been complying with safety regulations issued to them for operation.
Some were organizing night parties and all sort of activities without observing social distancing and wearing of facemasks.
People must understand that we are still in partial lockdown. We have moved from total lockdown to partial lockdown, so the dusk to dawn curfew is still very much in place.
Local Government Authorities are enforcing compliance in their areas, keke are allowed to carry only two passengers at the back seat and buses are not allowed to carry more than two passengers in a roll. The Councils hold regular meetings with the SSG on this issues.”
“A lot of work is being done in this regard.
We must commend the coordinating abilities of His Excellency, Sen Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, who as a medical expert understands the nature of the public health crisis. This is the reason he swung into action immediately and his action is largely responsible for the results we are getting now.”
“The bottom line is that we must not loss guide, we must continue to comply with safety guidelines in order to eradicate the virus from our State”
Dr. Nwoko concluded.