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COVID-19: Bayelsa govt isolates family of index case, as neighbours call for estate decontamination



COVID-19: Bayelsa govt isolates family of index case, as neighbours call for estate decontamination

The immediate family members of a middle-aged woman who reportedly tested positive to Coronavirus in Bayelsa State, have been traced and put on 14 days isolation to prevent further spread of the virus.

DAILY POST also learned that the State COVID-19 task force took their samples for testing, while they remain under the strict supervision of healthcare professionals.

Recall that DAILY POST reported the index case in the state after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), confirmed it via a tweet.

A source close to the corridors of power in the state who spoke under anonymity said the index case is stable and has shown signs that a second sample sent in for testing would return negative.

However, neighbours of the COVID-19 patient lament that 78 hours after she was taken into isolation, the task force is yet to carry out decontamination of the estate where she lived before contracting the virus.

During an independent investigation, DAILY POST learned that residents of the estate located in Ovom, largely occupied by senior civil servants of the state, have also gone into self-isolation over fears that they may contract the virus as well.

One of the neighbours said “I am still in shock over the news that she has contracted the virus. I find it hard to believe because she is one of the few women who go out for social gatherings except going to work or running domestic errands. I pray that she recovers soon.”

Meanwhile, Co-Chairman of the COVID-19 committee and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, disclosed that over 60 persons who had close contacts with the index case had been enlisted and counseled for the 14 days self-isolation with closed supervision.

He made this known while briefing newsmen on the activities of the committee, on Thursday in Yenagoa, the capital city.

He said all contact persons have all been assigned volunteer health workers who follow them up daily while the government had made sure that none of them go hungry.

He said, “So far, they have all been very cooperative and none has developed any symptoms suggestive of the Covid 19. They have all been given face masks, gloves, barometers and hand sanitizers.

“The state government has also made concrete plans to ensure they do not lack basic items such as food, water, toiletries during this period of self-isolation.

“All high-risk contacts samples have been collected and sent for testing while risk communication and community engagement with these persons are ongoing.”

Apoku, further disclosed that the index case currently quarantined at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, is responding to treatment as all her vital organs are working normally.

He said the state government has established a government-controlled quarantine facility for contacts who are unable to self-isolate themselves as they continue to trace more contacts.

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