There is palpable fear in Bayelsa State over spike in cases of COVID-19 due to community transmission caused by non-compliance with safety measures put in place the COVID-19 Bayelsa State Task Force
As at the time reporting, twelve confirmed cases have been discharged while there are 20 active cases at the various isolation centres with fears that the number could rise because of the indifference residents of the state have continued to pay to safety measures such as washing of hands, use of face masks and social distancing as well as the non-cooperative attitude of contacts of confirmed positive cases.
Dr Inodu Akpoku, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and deputy chairman of Bayelsa State COVID-19 Task Force had recently raised alarm that “we are now dealing with community transmission” after the state recorded 18 cases in 24 hours.
According to investigations though the state had scaled up its testing capacity with forty samples being sent daily to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Reference Laboratory, there are fears that many have resorted to self medication to treat symptoms of COVID-19.
The state task force suspecting that many private hospitals and facilities are treating patients with COVID-19 symptoms has launched active case search for cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) in hospitals and communities to halt the community transmission.
Findings also indicated that the continued flouting of the inter-state ban has put residents of the state at risk with the influx of people into the state through the multiple porous borders in the state.
Meanwhile Governor Douye Diri has revealed that the military officer who died of COVID-19 in the state contracted the infection by his compliance with safety measures.
Diri who disclosed this during the monthly praise night worship the Government House chapel, said the deceased whose primary line of duty was in Bayelsa fell ill outside the state.
“I was briefed about the passing away of a Major, who fell ill due to COVID-19 and died.
“He travelled out of the state and fell ill. He came into Bayelsa and died here and they briefed me to say when he was travelling like that, they used to see him without complying with any of the safety measures. On one of the occasions, one of the officials called him to order, but unfortunately, we lost him to the same COVID-19 that he didn’t acknowledge its existence.
“My brothers and sisters, there is COVID-19; it is happening to us here in Bayelsa. We have seen it, and so this is a time for us to educate our brothers, our sisters, our neighbours. So, ignorant people are saying we have COVID-19 because we want funds from the Federal Government.
“I’ve said it over and over, the Federal Government has not given a dime to Bayelsa State and all those who are committed to COVID-19 in Bayelsa, we have acknowledged them publicly.