Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki of Edo has denied the existence of the dreaded Indian COVID-19 variant in the state.
Reports had circulated earlier that Edo State had recorded cases of the variant.
However, Obaseki has poured cold water on the reports. The governor made the clarification in Benin at a news conference to provide an update on COVID-19 response in the state. Obaseki was represented by the state Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa.
He said that the Federal Government had, on April 26, taken precautionary steps by restricting international travel from India, Brazil and Turkey to curtail COVID-19.
“We, as government, have reached out to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); with regards to any Indian COVID-19 variant in Edo and the verified information reveals that the said sample was collected in January.
“There is currently no update or report suggestive of any such occurrence; or new case of COVID-19 reported within Edo in the past 96 hours.
“Edo has witnessed a 12.9 per cent drop in the number of infected persons comparatively,” he said.
Further, he disclosed that there has also been a 23.5 per cent comparative increase in the number of older persons infected with COVID-19 in the two waves of COVID-19 in the state. Obaseki said that the prevalence of COVID-19 among young persons, especially school children in Edo was low; noting that it has dropped by 18.5 per cent comparatively for first and second wave.
The governor explained that of a total of 54,534 COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction samples for testing; 4,905 persons had been infected with COVID-19 and five persons were currently on treatment; while 4,715 persons had recovered from the disease.
“A total of 185 persons have died, with no new case reported in the past 48 hours across the State. A total of 36,235 persons have been vaccinated across the State with the first dose of AstraZeneca Vaccine; accounting for 89.1 per cent of our set target already vaccinated,” he said.
Obaseki said that schools should revert to normal session arrangements of 8am to 2pm; urging them to enforce the ‘no face mask, no entry’ mandate. He stressed that people must wear masks that completely cover both the mouth and nose; while temperature check to be positioned at entry points into the schools.
Furthermore, he urged all eligible citizens to be vaccinated against coronavirus as soon as possible; describing it as a major step in curbing the pandemic.