Delta Government on Monday said it had begun active case search in six local government areas in a bid to check community transmission of COVID-19 in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, disclosed this in Asaba at a news briefing by the Technical Committee on COVID-19 Response in the state.
He listed the Local government areas as Uvwie, Udu, Warri South, Ughelli South, Okpe, Oshimili South and Oshimili North, with emphasis in 19 wards from which the state have had confirmed cases of the pandemic.
The Commissioner, who was flanked by his Information counterpart, Mr Charles Aniagwu and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Minnie Oseji, said the state had taken life insurance for 2,557 health workers to motivate them.
He commended the health workers for their tireless efforts in the fight against the pandemic and urged Deltans to rise against stigmatisation of COVID-19 positive persons as it had negative impact on the willingness of people to attend hospitals for care or show up for testing.
“In the beginning, we took our samples to Irrua Teaching Hospital, which is designated to serve the South-South.
“You are aware that we have in collaboration with Irrua Teaching Hospital and PANDORA, opened a Molecular laboratory at Asaba Specialist Hospital, Asaba, and this has greatly boosted our testing capacity and improved our turn-around time from sample collection to results.
“As at today, we have collected 425 samples, tested 386 out of which we recorded 27 positive cases with 12 cases discharged and unfortunately, five deaths were recorded, leaving us with 10 active cases currently being managed in our isolation centres.
“In view of the fact that there is evidence of community transmission, we have begun active case search in six LGAs – Uvwie, Udu, Warri South, Ughelli South, Okpe, Oshimili South and Oshimili North – with particular emphasis on 19 wards from which we have had our cases,” he stated.
Ononye stressed that the state had high premium on welfare of health workers, especially those on the frontline and had provided Personal Protective Equipment for the personnel, while also engaging the unions on appropriate hazard allowances to be paid.
“The state has also taken life Insurance for 2,557 health workers to motivate them. I commend them for their selfless efforts so far and urge them to do more for Deltans.
“Persons with respiratory symptoms or close contacts shy away from tests; some end up presenting late and this has accounted for the seemingly high proportion of deaths.
“I encourage all to observe all the publicised prevention protocols of hand and respiratory hygiene, use of face masks, social and physical distancing.
“My sincere appreciation to the Rapid Response Team from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the COVID-19 team, the State Ministry of Information, Directorate of Orientation, the Secretary to the State Government and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for their unrelenting support and selfless efforts in the containment of COVID-19 disease in Delta,” Ononye added.
On his part, Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, thanked the media for their role in the fight against the pandemic and urged everyone to take it as a personal responsibility to enforce the use of the face mask and physical distancing.
He said that it had become a collective responsibility of everyone to ensure that people complied with the established protocols in the fight against the pandemic.