The Commissioner for Information in Delta, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has commended Thisday Newspapers for the “Excellent Leadership’’ rating it gave to the state Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, for his response to COVID-19 challenge in the state.

In a statement on Monday in Asaba, Aniagwu thanked Editors and management of Thisday for the unbiased rating, saying that it was a true reflection of the proactive measures and leadership strategies adopted by the governor in the fight against the novel Coronavirus.

Editors of the newspaper had in an appraisal of the 36 states’ Governors’ response to the pandemic entitled “COVID-19: The State of States’ Response (2)”, rated Okowa “Excellent’’ in the management of the issues surrounding the pandemic.

The states were rated on the strength of their response to COVID-19, their cooperation with federal agencies and committees as well as the challenges militating against a smooth run of the battle against the pandemic.

The commissioner said that Delta was truly reaping from the benefit of having the Governor, who is a medical doctor, on the saddle in the management of COVID-19 in the state.

According to him, prior to the recording of the Index case on April 7, the state had already established 12 holding centres and four treatment centres, with a Response Committee headed by the Governor and other relevant officials, constituted.

Aniagwu said that the treatment centres were fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including ventilators, for effective management of would-be patients whose health challenge may progress to very critical stages.

He added that a two-week lockdown was ordered and boundaries with neighbouring states closed, to curtail spread of the virus into the state, and that the lockdown was later extended to another two weeks.

“We received with gratitude to God, the good news of the Editors of Thisday rating Gov Ifeanyi Okowa’s response to the management of COVID-19 in the state as Excellent.

“The Governor was rated Excellent alongside his Lagos and Kaduna counterparts for their proactive measures so far taken in the war against the pandemic.

“For us in Delta, we are not surprised because the rating is indeed a true reflection of the enterprising steps the Governor took in fighting the pandemic in the state.

“During the lockdown, the state government distributed food palliatives and one million face masks to vulnerable people in the state, in a bid to cushion the effect of the lockdown on them.

“While we commend the Editors of Thisday for their insight and unbiased appraisal, we also appreciate our people for their cooperation so far, in complying with the standards set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“We urge them to continue to be vigilant, wear face masks in public places, wash their hands regularly in running water and maintain social/physical distance in company with other persons,” Aniagwu stated.