20 WAEC Candidates Test Positive to COVID-19 in Bayelsa

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* PDP offers automatic ticket to Dickson on by-election

Onungwe One in Yenagoa

Twenty students currently writing the West African School Certificate examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) have tested positive to COVID-19.

This was disclosed in Yenagoa yesterday by the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, during a meeting of COVID-19 Task Force at Government House, Yenagoa.

This is coming as the immediate-past Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has been offered automatic ticket by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fly the party’s flag in the October 31, 2020 Bayelsa west Senatorial by-election.

According to Apoku, the 20 positive cases were among 600 candidates writing the West African Examination Council in the state that were screened.

The permanent secretary said the total number of COVID-19 test samples in the state from inception of the outbreak to date was 10,234, laboratory confirmed cases 370, number of active cases 24 while total number of deaths was 21.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has directed all civil servants from grade levels 1-12 to resume work from Tuesday, September 1.

Senator Diri gave the directive yesterday during a meeting with the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce in Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor had on March 26 asked those categories of workers to stay at home in order to curtail the spread of the pandemic in the state.

In a press statement signed by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor said the COVID-19 restrictions were being reviewed following the flattening of the pandemic curve in the state.

He therefore directed the Head of Service, Mrs Biobelemoye Charles-Onyeama to ensure that workers abide by all COVID-19 safety guidelines when they resume.

Diri also set up a sub-committee made up of the Technical Adviser on Security, Chief Boma Spero-Jack, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku and the service commanders to liaise with proprietors of night clubs, supermarkets and banks to seek ways of ensuring compliance with the presidential guidelines on COVID-19.

In a related development, the immediate-past Governor of Bayelsa State, Dickson, has been offered automatic ticket by the PDP to fly the party’s flag in the October 31, 2020 Bayelsa west Senatorial by-election.

The Bayelsa State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Solomon Agwanana, said yesterday that the decision to hand the former governor the ticket was reached after stakeholders and leaders of the party from Bayelsa West unanimously opted not to pick the nomination form for the Senatorial district in deference to the aspiration of the former governor.

The adoption of the former governor came as tertiary institution students from Bayelsa West also threw their weight behind the candidacy of Dickson.

Rising from a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital yesterday, the student leaders said the former governor had demonstrated enough capacity and love for the people of the zone to qualify him to go to the senate.

They promised to raise money to buy the nomination form for him to prove their support for him.