Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, said the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease in the state was not a patient that came in during the course of the lockdown which started on April 1.
The governor said the patient has been in the state for the past few weeks, adding the patient was being properly managed in one of the state’s four management centres.
The index case was confirmed on Tuesday night in Warri.
Okowa, who addressed the state in a broadcast, said: “At the moment, we are doing our tracking; we are getting more information on the case and when we have more information, we would be able to communicate to the state, but, it is the right of that person only to be able to publicly tell us that he or she is infected,” he said.
The governor did not disclose the identity of the patient, insisting that “the person did not come from another state, he has been within the state in the last few weeks.
“I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to all Deltans to pray for our health staff and to support them to succeed.
“For those of us that have been watching the television, we can see that a lot is being done by other countries to encourage the health staff and there is a need to support and to pray for them at this moment when they are very likely going to be overworked and exposed,” Okowa said.
He insisted that the disease is real, and does not discriminate between rich and poor, explaining that “it could affect anybody and I will appreciate it if all Deltans would have this at the back of their minds that anybody and everybody is vulnerable – both the old and the young.”
As a result, the governor threatened to apply stricter measures to check disobedience of the lockdown order, warning that enabling laws would be applied on those disobeying the directive.
While thanking residents for their cooperation, he said it was unfortunate that few persons have tended to disobey orders.
“I want to urge every Deltan that from today onwards until the 14 days, for the sake of everyone, for the sake of humanity, obey the orders of government, otherwise, they will be caught up by the arms of the law.
“The lockdown order was given because it was necessary. It is also lawful, because I have already signed into law a regulation which empowers us to take action against those who would disobey the lockdown order,” he said.