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Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

COVID-19:Bayelsa schools are ready and safe to re-open – Gov Diri

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Tuesday announced that the state has put in place safety measures to check the spread of the coronavirus preparatory to resumption of final year students on Wednesday Aug 5.

Diri, stated at the ‘Safe School Reopening Train-the-Trainer’ programme that the government has provided 10,000 facemasks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in Bayelsa.

The governor inaugurated a 10 member Safe Schools Reopening Committee headed by his Deputy Chief of Staff Mr 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 ensure that the state maintains its lowest infection rate of 339 among the comity of neighbouring states in the region.

According to Diri, Rivers has 1,842 cases, Delta 1,520 as 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 protocol and the commitment of the heath professionals in the state.

“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 healthcare professionals who I describe as Generals in the battlefield and with the steps we have taken, the teachers have joined the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

“We seek the cooperation of parents, teachers and the relevant stakeholders in the health and educational stakeholders to prevent teacher to student transmission of the virus and vice versa,”,Diri said.

In his introductory remarks, Dr Nathaniel Apoku, Co-Chairman of Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force noted that some 90 per cent of the 339 positive cases out of the 5,000 screened persons have been discharged.

“We have so far tested 5,000 and as we speak we have only 24 active cases under our care and our isolation centres and virtually empty and this is due to the commitment, dexterity and funding support by the government.

“We have always been meticulous in the implimentantion of World Health Organisation and NCDC protocols,” Apoku said.

Other members of the Safe Schools Reopening Committee include Mr Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Information, Mr Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Education.

Apoku, who is also Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, among others, is also a member of the committee.

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