Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government on Thursday urged the media practitioners to intensify sensitisation on the existence of COVID-19 so that the masses could take proactive measures against it.
This is appeal is coming against the backdrop of the belief in some quarters that COVID-19 is not real but a political scam and audio virus.
Speaking in Asaba during an interaction with members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State council, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said many people still believe that COVID-19 does not exist, and urged media to create aggressive awareness about the virus.
Aniagwu however commended practising journalists in the state for their support in the fight against the global pandemic.
He said the state has so far recorded 51 cases since its index on April 7, adding that 30 of the case are active with 14 discharged from treatment centres while seven deaths have been recorded.
According to him, the state initially established four treatment centres, adding that the private has added another two centres.
The commissioner, who was in company with the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika and other media aides to the Governor to the chapel secretariat, admitted that journalists have made tremendous contributions to the success story of the present administration.
“You have made tremendous contributions and we are happy that you have continued to partner us without placing any burden on us and we don’t take this support for granted,” Aniagwu said.
He pointed out that the state government had done quite a lot in the management of the pandemic in the state.
“Our medical personnel have been up and doing and that is the reason the government is doing a lot to make life comfortable for them.
“We still appeal to you to help us to educate those who think that Coronavirus is a scam. We have seen the effect of the virus in developed countries and we don’t want that to happen to our people.
“The accolades we have received from media houses were because of the reports some of you had written, especially in our management of COVID-19 in Delta.
“Beyond that, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rated us second behind Lagos in standard of living index; our target is to move the standard of living of all Deltans to an enviable height,” he added.
On his part, Mr. Ifeajika reminded journalists that as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, it was their responsibility to partner government in development and also make it accountable to the people.
He thanked the chapel members for representing the profession well, especially in their contributions to developmental journalism.
The CPS, however, urged them to be circumspect and not to lift unverified reports from the Social Media.