COVID-19: Panic as Edo Gov begins self-isolation, Speaker tests positive

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By Francis Ogbuagu, Benin City

There was absolute fear and anxiety in Edo State, Wednesday as the governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, went into self- isolation having had a direct contact with two Coronavirus victims: Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari.

Speaking to journalists at a press briefing at the government house,  Benin City, the Edo State capital, Wednesday, the Edo State deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, said the governor, having had direct contact with the Bauchi State governor and the chief of staff to the president, had gone into slef-isolation and his samples had been sent to the laboratory for testing.

According to him, “The Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, has been tested positive of the dreaded  Coronavirus pandemic. The state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has likewise gone into self-isolation following his close contact with Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, and the chief of staff to the president, Abba Kyari, who were both tested positive for the disease.”

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He disclosed that Okiye recently traveled to the United Kingdom, came back and went on self-isolation, adding that he (Okiye) sent his sample for testing and was tested positive.

Recall that the governor of Edo State, in a press briefing on Monday, disclosed that Edo State has recorded first case of the pandemic.

Shaibu said, “The index case of the Coronavirus  in Edo State is the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye. 

He traveled to the United Kingdom, came back and went on self-isolation; but sent his sample for testing and the test came back positive. He is in stable condition. His family members have been tested and the tests came back negative.”

When asked what the government is doing with the persons, the governor might have had contact with, Shaibu said since the governor had close contact with the infected and his consequent return from Abuja, he has been maintaining social distancing, even in executive meetings, and he has not  had handshakes with anybody.

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“Since the governor’s close contact with these persons, he has been maintaining social distancing. Since he came, he has not had close contact with anyone. Even in our meetings, he has been distancing himself, and does not have handshake with anyone”, he said.

According to Shaibu, the state government is tracking down a total of 111 contacts out of which 64 percent had been contacted, stressing that 6 had been taken for test and 5 came out negative.

The deputy governor said the state government has bought 40 drums of hand sanitisers to be distributed to local government areas, palaces and other public places. He noted that, in order to curb the spread, market remains closed except for those selling essential commodities, stressing that gathering above 20 persons remains prohibited.

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