EFFECTIVE BORDER SURVEILLANCE GERMAINE TO CURTAILING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 — DR. MICHAEL NWOKO
By Frank Iroroh
The Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Government on Health Monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko, who is also the leader of Border Health surveillance team has disclosed that effective border surveillance is germaine to curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Nwoko, made the disclosure on Friday, May 15th, while addressing reporters at Ologbo, Edo-Delta border.
The dynamic and ebullient SSA, who was on the borders 247, to ensure total compliance with the COVID-19 protocols on interstate movement of people, further stated that some Nigerians finds it difficult to comply with government’s directives and precautionary measures, adding that despite all the measures been implemented by the State government, some persons still find ways to manoeuvre through the borders.
Dr. Nwoko, however, assured that the State government is on top of the situation, adding that the constitution of the border enforcement taskforce team by His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Governor of Delta State has assisted in no small measure in tightening the borders.
Dr. Nwoko further stated that the synergy between the security agents, task force team and health workers has brought about effective border surveillance across the State.
The SSA commended the Governor for setting up mobile courts across the 3 Senatorial districts which has helped to prosecute violators of the Inter – State lockdown and further stemmed the tide of influx of persons into the State.
His words, ‘we are going round the border posts in Delta State to ensure that the protocols on COVID-19 as regards effective border surveillance are strictly adhered to. As you can see the volume of people trying to come into Delta State is very high here, it is same at Alifekede border. That of the Onitsha bridge head Asaba, is enamous. you know our people are very difficult to manage. Despite all the measures being implemented to enforce the inter-state lockdown, some individuals still try to find ways to manouvre their way through the borders.’ He stated.
Further, the SSA added, ‘the poor implementation of the inter-State lockdown by neighboring States is putting much pressure on us here in Delta. However, we have adopted certain measures to address the problem. We are turning back all vehicles who are not on essential duties. Only vehicles conveying essential commodities, like food products, petroleum products and pharmaceutical/medical supplies are allowed to enter the State after observing the Covid-19 protocol at the border which includes, hand washing, temperature checks and proper documentation of travel history and contact details of the persons’. The SSA emphasized.
Continuing, Dr. Nwoko outlined the measures taken by the State government to address the pressure on its borders, ‘the State government under our Amiable Governor, His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, have been very proactive right from day one when the news of this pandemic hit the airwaves. As you are aware, the Governor is a medical doctor who understands the nature of the public health crisis we are faced with. concerned about the scale of its health effects on the lives of all residents of the State, the Governor did not hesitate to take immediate action.
Delta State was the first State to announce lockdown apart from Lagos State. Three Mobile Courts, one in each of the senatorial district, were set up to try violators of the lockdown order and they have been sitting, so many violators have been prosecuted. Furthermore, the Governor went on to constitute a Taskforce on interstate lockdown to compliment the efforts of the security agents in order to tighten up the borders. Therefore, the State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has shown and demonstrated leadership at this critical time of the global pandemic.’ He posited.
The SSA, also used the opportunity to reechoe the call for all citizens to adhere strictly to NCDC and Government precautionary measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. His words. ‘I want to also use this opportunity to once again remind all residents of Delta State that we have a serious health crisis in our hands, the global coronavirus pandemic, it is highly contagious, deadly but preventable if we adhere strictly to the NCDC protocol and the State government’s preventive measures, which includes wearing of facemask, social distancing, regular use of sanitisers or washing of hands with soap under running water.’ He concluded.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nwoko and his team have continued the border surveillance rendezvous across all the borders in the State. The team alongside the SMART Delta News Crew, were at the bridge head bord
er, Asaba, Alifekede border, Olije-Igbanke border , Idumuje-Ugboko border and Ebu border posts on Thursday May 14th.
Also on Friday May 15th, the team was on the move with a visit to Patani border, where they were received on arrival by the council boss, Hon. Perez Omoun, the Executive Secretary of the LGA Health Authority and the taskforce members.
From Patani, the team proceeded to Ologbo border post and were received by Oghara police D.P.O, the commissioner for environment Hon. Chris Onogba and the council boss, Hon. Solomon Goley. The team equally visited the Jesse-Oben road Border, the Sakponba- Abraka road border and ended the day’s borde
r surveillance at the Urhonigbe – Umutu border.
In all the borders visited, Dr. Nwoko was always full of praises for the health workers, security agents and taskforce members for their efforts in ensuring that the protocol on Covid-19 is strictly adhered to at the borders and that the borders were effectively manned to check the movement of people into the State.
Also, on Saturday May 16th, Dr. Nwoko and his team, joined the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, as he paid working visit to Jesse/Oben road border and the ever busy Ologbo border.
The SSG who is determined to ensure that the lockdown order is Carried out to the later, was seen actively involved in monitoring vehicular and human movements with only those on essential journeys allowed into the State after observing the health rudiments which includes temperature check, washing of hands,use of sanitizers and wearing of masks.
Also with the SSG, were the commissioner for environment Hon. Chris Onogba leading the newly constituted taskforce team on border monitoring for that axis and the Chairman Ethiope West Local Government Area, Hon. Solomon Goley.
Health personnel, Security agents and the task force team were seen working in synergy in ensuring full compliance of the Covid-19 protocol on interstate movement and the restrictions on vehicular movement of non essential goods and passengers.