By Loveth Ojogun
Delta state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, has appealed to the people of Delta state to follow the health protocols prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC0 and the government as part of strategies to combat the lethal coronavirus pandemic.
The call followed the continuous rise of the confirmed cases in both the state and at the national level, a development which has not given rest to the health officials and the Delta state government. At the early hours of Tuesday, the confirmed cases in Delta have risen to 88. The figure has 63 as active cases, 17 discharged and 8 deaths recorded.
With the increasing figure, the commissioner is insisting that every resident in Delta should use facemasks, hand sanitisers and the hand washing recommended by the health authorities. He also said people should avoid crowded places and maintain spacing between people in all interactions.
Mr. Aniagwu made the call when he visited members of the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), an association of online news publishers at the forum’s office in Asaba, the Delta state capital, on Tuesday.
He expressed displeasure over the COVID-19 patient who mobilized his relations to storm and remove him forcefully from the isolation centre, saying everyone who knew him should stay away from him to avoid being infected by the coronavirus. He advised Deltans to stop playing politics with the virus, adding that COVID-19 is not fake but real.
He commended members of the Delta Online Publishers Forum for publicizing the activities of the state government, saying the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, is happy with what members of the forum are doing for the state.
He reeled out numerous achievements of the state government for the past years. He said the state governorment under Governor Okowa has built schools and over 400 roads across the three senatorial districts of the state. He also said the state is contributing immensely to the contributory health scheme, thereby making health care affordable and accessible to all Deltans.
Aniagwu, who was accompanied by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Olisa Ifeajika; Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media, Nelson Egware and two others for the interaction, said Governor Okowa was focused on building a lasting legacy for the people of Delta, urging media practitioners and all Deltans to key into all programmes of the governor.
The CPS told the forum members that Delta state is for all Deltans, hence every resident should join hands to build a state that will be the envy of all, both within and outside the state.
Ifeajika said the state government has nothing to hide from anyone, insisting that the state is open and the government is transparent in its dealings with the people. He called on the media to verify all reports available to them before publishing.
He agreed that the online media which is already beating the mainstream media in the distribution of news and other information, has come to stay. He, however, called for online media practitioners to watch and ensure stories are credible before publishing.
Chairman of the forum, Mr. Emmanuel Enebeli, told the commissioner that members of DOPF have been supportive of the programmes of government in the state. He told the commissioner that members of the DOPF always verify their stories before publishing.