Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government, yesterday advocated a total lockdown of the country to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Aniagwu, said it was not enough to declare lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, but that it should be extended to all states irrespective of where there have been confirmed cases of the global disease.
Aniagwu said Nigeria was not testing enough to determine the number of those who are actually carrying the disease like in the United States of America and other advanced countries with high rates of the disease.
He also rubbished beliefs that the disease is meant for ‘big men’, noting that those on the lower rung of the economic ladder hardly go for test to ascertain their status.
Addressing journalists in Asaba in view of two suspected cases of COVID-19 which caused scare at the weekend in the state, Aniagwu reiterated that there was no confirmed case in the state, urging residents not to panic over mere rumours.
He said the suspected case in Warri area of the state that went virile, was not a case of COVID-19 but that of a woman with high fever.
“That there is COVID-19 in the country does not mean there are no other ailments around. In the case of the Ekpan in Warri, the call came and the rapid response team mobilised and went to the patient’s house. She was rushed to Oghara where she stabilised,” he said.
Aniagwu urged residents not to always panic whenever an ambulance is deployed to evacuate any patient, adding that not every case was COVID-19.
“When an ambulance is carrying somebody, it is not necessarily a case of COVID-19. There is no need for unnecessary panic because of rumours, particularly in the social media.
“Let people not be looking for where they can see COVID-19 in Delta because it is not something we look forward to. If at the end of the day, we do not record any case, we can look elsewhere to invest our money in realisation of the ‘Stronger Delta’ initiative,” he said.
Aniagwu restated the state government’s resolve to lockdown its land borders, insisting that it was the best way to prevent the disease from spreading in view of the devastation it has done to countries with more advanced technology.
“There is need to obey simply instructions as regard the situation we are in presently. The lockdown will tell on everyone, as a government, we are not enjoying it because it is not helping the economy.
“We want to appeal to well meaning individuals and wealthy religious leaders that this is the right time to give out and not to receive. For those selling essential commodities, this is not the period to hike the prices of goods in order not to worsen the situation,” he said.