Coronavirus: Rivers State on red alert

Coronavirus: Rivers State on red alert

Friday, February 28, 2020 5:54 pm

…Multiple layers of screening of in-flight travelers at Port Harcourt International airports, entry points

… Travelers from countries with the virus to be put on self isolation and adequate surveillance within incubation period of the virus.

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Rivers State government has placed the state on high alert even through there has been any reported case of any person infected with the virus.

Sequel to this, the State Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health like the National Centre for Disease Control and other stakeholders are in synergy to ensure maximum surveillance all national entry points into the state.

Dr. Mrs Chinwe Tonye Atata, Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, in a press briefing on Friday in Port Harcourt said multiple layers of screening of in-flight assessment of passengers for early detection of suspected cases as well as secondary screening have already been established at Port Harcourt International Airports and other entry points for foreigners into the state.

She said that in line with established protocol, all International travelers from already affected countries are to be placed on self isolation within the medically known incubation period of the virus.

She added that within this period, such persons are closely monitored at the point of their destination.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no known case of Coronavirus in state as of now.”

She said that the state has mapped out isolation treatment centres in case of any eventuality.

In addition, the state has also set up Rapid Response Team and multi-sectional technical working group, specifically dedicated for regular review and evaluation the situation in state .

She assured that the State has in stock sufficient preventive and protective equipment and supportive therapeutic drugs in case of any eventuality .

“We believe in early prevention and protection and to this end,we join the global Community to advise People to regular washing of hands with soup and water, especially when hands are soiled and sweating and contact with people

“There should also use alcohol-based sanitizers, while the is a strict mentainace of 1.5 metres distance from someone constantly coughing or sneezing. Those who are coughing and sneezing should keep away from the crowd.

“Any person with high fever and persistent coughing should notify relevant authorities”.

She advised health facilities operating in the state to maintain high safety measures.

Dr Mrs Atata cautioned citizens not to spread misinformation in the social media on the disease, because such abuse could lead to danger and panic, assuring that the Rapid Response Team will provide routine update and necessary measures have been put in place to ensure public safety.

On the absence of a substantive Commissioner and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, she said necessary structures are in place to handle the emerging viral disease.

It would be recalled with outbreak of deadly Ebola viral disease in Lagos, on 20 July 2014, Port Harcourt was the next city where Ebola spread to resulting in killing of several persons before it was contained .


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