There was uneasy calm in Delta State yesterday as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his wife, Edith, tested positive for COVID-19.
Also, the Secretary to the Osun State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, has tested positive for the virus.
The Okowas tested positive barely a week after their daughter contracted the disease and the entire family of the governor went into isolation.
Also, it happened after the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie, and the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, contracted the virus.
Coronavirus cases are now above 800 with over 20 deaths recorded.
Although the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, said Aniagwu and Ebie, who exhibited mild symptoms of the disease, were responding to treatment, he kept mum on the governor’s daughter’s health status.
The news of the governor’s coronavirus status disheartened workers at the Governor’s Office and forced some staff of the New Government House, Asaba, to close from work abruptly.
“It is not surprising to us. The daughter must have transferred it to his father and mother. It is a case of the hunters have become the hunted and confirmed that the rich are more susceptible to contracting the virus,” a Government House worker said.
The official said the premises of the Governor’s Office should be fumigated with immediate effect to prevent further spread.
Besides, virtually all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government in the state were deserted for fear of contracting the virus while Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Directors were being screened.
However, the CPS, Ifeajika, said Okowa and his wife’s case was sequel to the tests conducted on them after they embarked on self-isolation.
He said: “The two heads of the first family in the state are stable and have commenced necessary treatment and further isolation. The governor thanked Deltans for their prayers for his family and called for continued supplications for all patients undergoing treatment for the pandemic.”
The CPS added that members of the first family were stable and said that the administration would not relent in its efforts at combating the virus in the state.
Ifeajika urged the public to support the government in that regard by complying with prescribed protocols by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Meanwhile, the Osun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, disclosed the SSG’s status in a statement in Osogbo on Tuesday.
He also confirmed the discovery of 10 additional cases in the state.
Isamotu was, however, quick to add that one patient had equally been discharged after testing negative for the virus.
The commissioner noted that one of the reasons for the sudden rise in the Covid-19 cases in the state was largely due to the nonchalant attitude of citizens and residents to laid-down precautionary measures against the spread of the virus.
Isamotu also hinted that there were strong reasons to believe the state now had community transmission around the Ilesa axis.
He warned that unless citizens and residents changed their ways, government might be forced to impose another lockdown on the state.
While noting that the 11 new cases were from the contact tracing of previous cases in the state, the commissioner also revealed that with the latest development, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 127 with 74 active cases.
He said: “If you observe, our cases have been on the rise consistently in the last two weeks or so. The reason is simple. Our people are beginning to be too casual about the spread of the virus. The lack of strict adherence to safety protocols and guidelines is one of the main reasons for the rise. As a matter of fact, we are beginning to suspect that we have community transmission around Ilesa axis.
“Government is reviewing the cases. Soon, we shall announce other stricter measures to contain the spread of the virus in that axis.
“Also, I want to confirm to you that our SSG and some of the staff around him have tested positive for the virus. But they are all in stable condition and are receiving adequate medical care.
“With the latest development, the number of our active cases as at today, Tuesday, June 30, is 74. We have 127 confirmed cases, out of which the State has successfully treated and discharged 48 patients while five deaths have been recorded.”