Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has announced 13 new cases of COVID-19 infection in the state bringing the total number of active cases to 124.
The government which disclosed that four patients have been discharged announced that another death was recorded bringing the total number of deaths to 17.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, and Chairman of the Implementation Committee of the COVID-19 state task force, Dr Inodu Apoku had identified improper use of face masks as being responsible for the spike in infections in the state.
Governor Douye Diri had directed that stiffer measures of compulsory face mask wearing in public and other safety protocols be adopted in the state from Monday July 13 to curtail the spread of the infection and reduce the fatality rate.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the governor said given the spike in the COVID-19 statistics recorded recently in the state, it has become imperative to make wearing of face masks and observance of the COVID-19 guidelines mandatory.
His words:”The state government is going to enforce wearing of face masks in public places. If you don’t have a face mask, don’t go near any of our markets; don’t go near any bank and even the precincts of the bank. You must be seen wearing a face mask but if you don’t, the taskforce will hold the bank and customers without face masks liable. The same is applicable to the supermarkets.”
Meanwhile the state taskforce is trying to trace 36 contacts of some of the positive cases confirmed in the state.
The efforts of the contacts tracing team have been deliberately frustrated by some of the contacts who are afraid to subject themselves to isolation.
According to investigations 32 out of the 36 contacts have their phones switched off and unreachable while four claimed that they have left town.