• Confirmed Case of Covid-19 in Bayelsa State
Fellow Bayelsans, since the index case of the Covid-19 pandemic was announced on February 27, 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos tested positive for the virus, my government has taken proactive actions to strengthen surveillance at our boundaries with neighboring states to prevent the spread of coronavirus into our own state. With the diligence of the State Task Force on Covid-19, which I chair, and the cooperation of the citizens, we have largely been successful in this quest.
There are now over 2.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. The number of cases in Nigeria has also continued to rise in the last few weeks with a total of 1,273 confirmed cases as of yesterday.
We have continued to follow up travelers and persons of interest as well as several alerts and rumours reaching the Bayelsa State COVID-19 task force.
Unfortunately, one of the five results received yesterday night for Bayelsa State was positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case in Bayelsa.
The patient is a 49-year-old female, who presented herself at the Bayelsa State Specialist Hospital. She is a known hypertensive and diabetic, and presented with history of poor appetite, fever, headache, non-productive cough and chest pain of a week duration.
She did not admit to any travel history.
She was subsequently admitted at the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital where she was being managed for malaria and uncontrolled hypertension with queried COVID-19. Even 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 a panic state.
She has been evacuated to the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) isolation centre at Okolobiri for further management and all her contacts will be adequately followed up, including necessary environmental decontamination as the case may be.
We should appreciate the dynamics of the times and act sensibly. This is a global pandemic and we cannot be sectional or partisan in our response. Like I said on a previous occasion, we cannot sleep or rest while we have an enemy we cannot see. Covid-19 is an enemy we must fight until it is completely defeated. It is time for responsibility sharing and not blame sharing.
The Bayelsa Specialist hospital has since been closed down and decontamination procedures commenced.
Contact tracing has also 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 contacts samples will be collected and sent for testing while risk communication and community engagement will continue as usual.
As I mentioned earlier, the Bayelsa State COVID-19 task force will remain on RESPONSE mode with dedicated and experienced health officers and volunteers doing their best to contain the spread of this disease in the state.
Let me repeat that prevention and early detection remain our focus of containment and as such we continue to advocate as follows:
1. Regular and thorough hand washing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer
2. Social distancing is key. Maintain at least 2 meters (6 feet) distance between yourself and any other person. Avoid crowds and ensure compliance with all the pronouncements I have made.
In addition, I am pronouncing that everybody except those on essential duties should remain at home for the next one week starting from tonight.
3. Endeavour to practice good respiratory hygiene: when sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve at the flexed elbow or with a tissue. Then dispose-off the used tissue safely, immediately.
4. Sick persons should stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing and then notify relevant authorities immediately.
5. DO NOT SPREAD FAKE NEWS. Bayelsans are advised not to indulge in spreading misinformation that can cause panic and lead to a stampede
6. All health facilities should ensure strict and appropriate Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures at all triage points. The Bayelsa COVID-19 task force will continue to provide updates and guidance while implementing all necessary measures to ensure public health and safety.
7. There is no need to panic. Be assured the Bayelsa State Government is on top of the situation.
For further information or enquiry, please call
May the Almighty God continue to bless Bayelsa.