Bayelsa Laments Neglect by FG, WHO

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Senator Douye Diri

Onungwe Obe in Yenagoa

Bayelsa State Government has lamented the failure of the federal government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to support it with funds and other logistics in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Governor, Senator Douye Diri, criticised the federal government at a meeting he had with the state task force on COVID-19.

Diri said the state had only been receiving support from other corporate concerns and individuals like former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.

He said while Jonathan donated 1,000 bags of rice and 1,000 bags of beans, Oba Ogunwusi donated two motorised modular fumigators. Also, former Governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, donated N10 million, while another good citizen, Freeborn David donated 150 face masks, the governor added.

Others are First City Monument Bank, Yenagoa branch, 114 cartons of instant noodles, 979 10kg bags of rice, 80 packets of face masks; Ecobank, 350 10kg bags of rice and 370 5kg bags of Garri; Academic Staff Union of Universities, Port Harcourt chapter, 100 milligrams of 500 bottles of sanitisers as well as the Yenagoa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), 50 bottles of 200 milligram sanitisers.

Meanwhile, the state government has decontaminated the private hospital where the doctor who tested positive for COVID-19 two days ago was treated. Diri said the hospital had to be closed down and the workers quarantined and tested. “The doctor, who works at the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, was said to have returned from a trip to Delta State a few days ago,” he said. His case brought to two the active COVID-19 cases in Bayelsa State. Five previously confirmed cases had been discharged after testing negative in isolation.The governor directed that the presidential directives of inter-state lockdown be adopted for another two weeks as well as the dusk-to-dawn curfew of 8p.m. to 6a.m.

He equally stated that the stay-at-home order for civil servants on grade levels 01 to 12 be extended for another two weeks as part of strategies to contain the spread of the virus.

The governor, however, directed the state Head of Service to liaise with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; the Chief Medical Director of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital and his counterpart at the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa as well as the Director of Public Health to devise a plan on the gradual return to work of the affected civil servants.