Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri says the state has put safety measures in place to check the spread of the COVID-19 preparatory to resumption of final year students on Wednesday.
Diri announced this on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the state capital, at the ‘Safe School Reopening Train-the-Trainers’ programme.
He said the government had provided 10,000 face masks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in the state.
The governor inaugurated a 10-member Safe Schools Reopening Committee headed by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Peter Akpe, to monitor the implementation of the COVID-19 safety protocols across the state.
Diri urged the committee to monitor and ensure compliance with the safety protocols to make sure the state maintain its lowest infection rate of 339 among the comity of neighboring states in the region.
According to Diri, Rivers has 1,842 cases, Delta 1,520 and Bayelsa is listed 23rd out of 36 states in order of infection rates by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He attributed the low infection rates in the state to the stringent enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols and the commitment of the health professionals.
The governor stated:
“Our commitment to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged the entire globe is total and out of responsibility for the health of our dear children, we decided to close schools on March 26 even before we recorded the index case in Bayelsa on April 27, 2020.
“I commend the efforts of our health care professionals whom I describe as generals in the battlefield. And with the steps we have taken, the teachers have joined the frontlines in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
“We seek the cooperation of parents, teachers and the relevant stakeholders in the health and education to prevent teacher-to-student transmission of the virus and vice versa.”
In his remarks, Co-Chairman of Bayelsa State COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Nathaniel Apoku, noted that some 90 per cent of the 339 positive cases out of the 5,000 screened persons had been discharged.
“We have so far tested 5,000 and as we speak, we have only 24 active cases under our care. Our isolation centres are virtually empty and this is due to the commitment, dexterity and funding support by the government.
“We have always been meticulous in the implementation of World Health Organisation and NCDC protocols.”