Rivers COVID-19 update: Female model out, 62-yr-old man takes over


Controversy over who is building the 250-bed treatment centre, between the FG and State government rages

  • Rivers State Commissioner of Health, Princewill Chike, a professor, has said Rivers first case, a 19-year-old model, is twice negative and will exit later Tuesday evening.
  • Of the 105 contacts of the model, only 15 are still under observation. Others have exited.
  • New case that proved positive Monday evening, a 62-year-old male returnee from the UK, has replaced her, though in the male section. The new case returned from abroad through an airline. He was under surveillance for almost two weeks and his test came down positive on Monday.
  • Tracking and tracing of the contacts of the second case began Tuesday morning, according to the Commissioner. The team has requested for the manifest of the flight that brought him to Port Harcourt for effective tracing. He had observed some degree of isolation upon return to PH
  • Rivers State government is making efforts to procure the major testing machine in Holland but global demand surge is causing delay. The testing centre in PH will soon come into view, he said.
  • Who is building the 250-bed treatment centre at Elekahia, PH? The FG through the SA to the President, Yuri Ngelali, says it’s the FG in collaboration with the CBN; the health commissioner said for the governor to be supervising it, newsmen should ‘count their teeth with their tongue’. He said it was wrong for anyone outside minister of health (federal) or commissioner of health in a state to speak on any health matter.
  • Neighbourhood markets resumed in the state from 7am to 12noon on Tuesday and Wednesday only to enable the people to restock and to prepare for Easter. Some persons have however asked that it should be till 6pm to avoid rush and close contacts or hike in prices. Major markets especially at the boundaries were not allowed to open.

Free for all bribing at boundaries to travel anywhere in the east

Most states in the south-south and south east have ordered their boundaries shut down and left the security agencies with the task of implementing this, but (coronavirus could as well have been passing through. How?

Travellers simply pay fees at the boundaries (is it borders) to get across.

An undercover traveller from Elelenwo area of Port Harcourt gave his report to this medium. Board a bust in Port Harcourt to any of the boundaries (this incident is to Enugu), at the Oyigbo or Imo Bridge, you must come down. The vehicle must head back to Port Harcourt.

Now, you trek to the security point at the river and drop N500 and continue your trekking. You now board a vehicle at the other side of the ‘border’ and head to the end of Abia at Umuahia. The driver is the one to drop N1000 and continue to Imo boundary and drop another N1000 to Enugu boundary where he drops another N1000.

The health officials of the states are there quite alright with personal protection equipment and temperature guns but their attention is on the droppings because nobody wants to be cheated.

So, nobody checks any temperature and nobody stops anybody from moving through the states from the south-south to the south-east and back, whether with coronavirus or not. People sit as they like and rob bodies and exchange whatever they have with each other.

When they get back to the cities, they join the social distancing and stay at home orders and pretend to obey the government of the day. When you press them deeper, they would tell you its God that protects, really.

This is how the populace is fighting against the spread of the coronavirus. It seems to have been left to the government officials and the elites. The masses seem to use wishing approach by wishing its not their portion.

The governor of Ekiti State and chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) recently said in a chat with Mrs Ibim Sementari that the masses are still feeling indifferent believing it is ‘big man’ sickness. He said as long as keke-riders, farmers, neighbourhood traders and colleagues in a yard have not started dropping dead, the masses would continue to be indifferent to the massive campaigns by federal and state governments.

This may be true! For the security agents at the boundaries, this scourge may well rage longer. It makes the sanitized pockets feel heavy and rankle with fresh naira notes.