The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), says it is yet to establish any link between oil leaks and death fishes that float and litter the Atlantic coastline across the Niger Delta region.
The agency said it was coordinating a multi-agency investigation, aimed at unraveling the cause of the reported massive death of fishes within the nation’s territorial waters and was looking beyond the oil industry.
Director-General of NOSDRA, Mr Idris Musa, told newsmen in a telephone chat on Wednesday in Yenagoa, that investigation was already ongoing in spite the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to Musa, officials of NOSDRA deployed from Warri, Yenagoa and Port Harcourt have conducted site visits to the Atlantic coastline in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers to collect water and fish samples for tests.
”NOSDRA carried out a reconnaissance of the area in Delta where we first got the report through a member of a non- governmental organisation.
“There is no incident of oil spill within the area of reported dead fishes, notwithstanding that a few dead fishes were seen along the shoreline.
“The event of recent days where the death of fishes in large numbers make it expedient to look beyond oil spillage as the likely cause of death of fishes in such large numbers,” he said.
Musa said that the agency collected samples of water, sediments and some of the dead fishes for laboratory testing, and in doing so, brought on board other relevant government agencies that have mandate on the territorial waters, in particularly the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) and the Federal Institute of Fisheries Research.
“Also, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for all hands on deck assessment of the possible cause or causes of death of the fishes in such large numbers,” Musa said.
The NOSDRA chief executive said that the results of ongoing laboratory analysis would be compared with results from the participating agencies to profer an effective solution and ensures a more stringent regulation in future.
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Covid-19: NCDC Scores A’Ibom High On Contact-Tracing
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has scored Akwa Ibom State Government 99 per cent on contact-tracing and other critical elements in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
In a release entitled; ‘Epi Summary of Covid-19 Outbreak in Akwa Ibom State’, dated April 21, 2020, the Covoid-19 regulatory body singled out Akwa Ibom State for the bold and the courageous work the state government under the leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel has done in a critical element of stemming the rate of the infection of the virus-contact-tracing.
The agency scored the state government 99 per cent in this critical area: Percentage of contacts traced. It also scored the state 2.7 per cent on the “Proportions of Contacts that have developed (suggestive) symptoms which is a great success ratio.
“This is great news and a huge testament to the proactive stance of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel who has been front and centre in the fight to contain this deadly pandemic,” the state Chairman of the Covid-19 Management Committee and the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem had said exultantly.
“You will recall that at the outbreak of this pandemic, Governor Emmanuel had in his previous state broadcast to the people harped on contact tracing as a major means of stemming the rate of infection. We are happy that his effort and leadership has borne great results. Look at the level of preparedness the state sovernment made the world-class Isolation Centres at the Ibom Specialist Hospital, the one at Ikot Ekpene, and the one currently under construction at Ituk Mbang, this shows a leader who was prepared and ready for a time like this”.
Earlier this week, the Governor had directed that aggressive testing be carried out throughout the state, and we are seeing the result of that aggressive approach by the low number of people infected in the state,” the Chairman had stated.
Meanwhile, a recently discharged patient who once tested positive for the virus, but was later discharged after being tested twice by the NCDC, has commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for establishing a very conducive and comfortable isolation centre at the Ibom Specialist Hospital which she described as “a home away from home”.
In an interview conducted by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the recovered patient who craved anonymity thanked the state governor for all he has done to ensure that the spread of the virus is minimised.
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