THERE was anxiety among health workers at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, Edo State, yesterday, as a truck load of persons numbering 84 believed to have arrived from Kano State came to the hospital.
Similarly, another vehicle transporting 26 persons said to be coming from Rivers State was intercepted and all detainees from the two arrests are undergoing screening and testing to ascertain their covid-19 status.
The incident in Irrua was said to have caught the hospital management and staff unawares and led to some of the staff going home.
A source in the hospital told Vanguard, “When I arrived the hospital this morning (yesterday), I saw a lot of people being guarded by the police and on enquiry, I was told they were intercepted overnight and were said to be going to Lagos. The Police kept them overnight and then informed the state governor, who immediately ordered that they should all be subjected to Covid-19 test before any action would be taken about them. They have been isolated and urgent testing has began to know the status of each of them.”
Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Odijie Ohue said, he was not authorized to speak on the matter.
Police Public Relations Officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, who confirmed the incident said, “Operatives intercepted the vehicle and took them to Irrua police station. When counted, they were 84 human beings including the driver and when they were interrogated, they said they were coming from the North. They were taken to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for proper medical check and that has been done.
“The state government order is that security agents should escort them away to where they said they were going to, and that is the West, either Ogun or Lagos state.”
State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, said the 26 travellers in a truck were stopped at AGIP Junction on Sapele Road and moved to the Stella Obasanjo Hospital for screening and testing to ascertain their COVID-19 status before they were let off to continue their journey.
On the travelers from Kano, Okundia said, “ISTH is screening and testing them. We are communicating and exchanging reports. The essence is to screen these persons and get them tested after which they will be allowed back into their truck to continue their journey and Police officers will escort them out of the state.”
The driver of the truck with registration number LSF 679 XZ spotted at Edo Central, John Monday, said he had just finished delivering his goods and decided to pick the passengers, who he claimed he charged between N500 and N700 on his way from Kano State en-route Ogun State.
We locked down Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt to protect Rivers people — Wike
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has said that the lockdown of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas was not targeted at suffering the people, but aimed at protecting Rivers people from coronavirus.
Speaking during a live phone-in radio programme in Port Harcourt, yesterday, “We have to lockdown Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas in the interest of our people. While individuals feel it, the state government is also affected because it loses revenue. But lives must be protected.
“We need continuous prayers to succeed. We have handed this state to God. We can only do much, but God will save our people.”
Wike said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that agriculture and health were key. He said the state government will work towards further growth in that direction.
He said: “Everyone should support the state government to tackle COVID-19. This is not a period of criticism. This is a period where all of us must come together, irrespective of political parties to stop the spread of the virus.
“I thank Rivers people for their support. It has been amazing. I am not moved by the unfounded criticism of a few. I am concerned about the protection of the vast majority of Rivers people, because I have their mandate.”
Wike urged churches to fellowship online and pray for the state within the period. He said that basically, the state government was taking precautionary measures to protect Rivers people.
Bayelsa warns those breaching boundaries
Bayelsa State Government has warned those compromising its boundary control measures towards curtailing the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 in the state to turn a new leaf or face the wrath of the law.
State Deputy Governor, Senator Ewhrudjakpo handed down the warning at a meeting with members of the local government COVID-19 teams led by the eight council chairmen in Yenagoa.
Ewhrudjakpo said, “I’m just coming from another meeting where I had reports that there is now high influx of strangers into our state. This is because of the porous borders.
“People are now running from places that experienced total lockdown to where they will have freedom of movement. These are people you don’t even know their virus status and our people are encouraging them to come in.
“We don’t have the kind of capacity Lagos has, but they are finding it difficult to cope with their situation despite the N10 billion support from the Federal Government.
“That is why I urge every one of us, including security agencies manning our borders to take government’s preventive measures seriously.’’
Police arrest 20 facemask defaulters in Delta
In Delta State, men of the police command, yesterday arrested no fewer than 20 persons in Asaba, the state capital for not wearing face masks in public.