214 isolated persons exit, only two still under watch in Rivers- Commissioner of Health tells NCDC


* Says its all down to Gov Wike unique response to the pandemic

By Codratus Godson

Only two out of the 216 persons in isolation for having contact with the two positive cases in Rivers State have so far yet to exit, so said the state’s health boss, Princewill Chike. The rest 214 have left isolation, he stated.

Chike gave the account to the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Princewill Chike, who visited the state Sunday, April 19, 2020.

The health commissioner said the feat was as a result of Gov Wike’s proactive leadership, saying the state has no current confirmed case of coronavirus.  He said the two cases in the state have been treated and discharged.

His statement: “Since January, Rivers State has had two cases of coronavirus; a 19-year-old model and a 62-year-old retiree. They have been treated and discharged.  All the 214 persons that had contact with them were placed under surveillance. Except for two cases, all other contacts have exited Isolation,” he said.

The health commissioner said that the proactive approach of Gov Wike in tackling coronavirus centres, early detection, prevention and treatment, helped to keep the virus under control.

He said: “We give kudos to our Governor for his proactive approach at tackling coronavirus . It has been successful.  The Rivers State Executive Council set up a sensitization committee to sensitise and inform the people on ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

The commissioner said that it has polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines, but they are devoted to the treatment of other major ailments before the outbreak of coronavirus.

The health commissioner said that another set of PCR machines to be devoted to the testing and treatment of COVID-19 is on its way to the state. He also announced that all public hospitals in different local government areas of the state have COVID-19 centres, developed by the Wike Administration.

He said: “They have been developed to hold suspect cases before the intervention of the State Rapid Response Team on COVID-19.” The state government called on the FG to take immediate steps to stop oil companies from  violating  the State Executive Order on restriction of movement.

He said: “The way some oil companies breach the Executive Order issued by the Rivers State Governor to restrict movement in and out of the State can jeopardise the fight against coronavirus.  The Rivers State Government needs the support of the State Federal Government in this regard. ”

The Rivers State Government also requested the establishment of a functional Federal Laboratory to handle coronavirus testing.  The Government said even though it is in the process of setting its major laboratory, the strategic place of Rivers State as the nation’s oil and gas hub, requires a federal testing centre.

Reacting, the NCDC boss admitted that Gov Wike has shown strong and firm commitment in the fight against the virus. He said he was in the state to share information with health officials because the fight can only be for all hands on deck.