By Enaibo Asiayei
Bayelsa State Governor, 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 on Monday during a meeting with the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce in Yenagoa.
The state government 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.
The governor in a statement by his acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, 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.
On the resumption of schools, the governor noted that while students in terminal classes were writing their examinations, he directed all primary six pupils to also resume academic activities as the government was evaluating the situation pending when other classes would 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.
The governor, who stressed that the presidential curfew from 10 pm to 4am was still in place, insisted on the use of face masks, sanitisers and maintaining social distance in order to avert a second wave of the infection as predicted by health experts.
“We insist on the use of face masks, especially in urban areas. We are appealing to the sensibilities of people to comply with the COVID-19 protocols and we need to sustain the enlightenment on the existence of the virus.
“Our duty is to ensure that the presidential directive on the curfew is obeyed and fully implemented. We do not want to be seen as a state that is acting contrary to such directives,” he said.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, 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.
According to Dr. Apoku, 600 candidates writing the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in the state were screened out of which 20 tested positive to the virus.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Prof. Dimie Ogoina, expressed gratitude to Senator Diri for the establishment of a molecular laboratory diagnostic centre and approval of the employment of 10 medical personnel for the management of COVID-19 patients.
Prof. Ogoina also lauded the governor on his efforts at linking the NDUTH to the independent power project, which has been providing 24 hours power supply to the hospital.