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COVID-19: Bayelsa Confirms Nine New Cases, Records First Death.

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The Bayelsa state Taskforce on the novel  Covid-19 pandemic says it has recorded Nine new confirmed cases in the state.

A press release reaching The Tide on Monday in Yenagoa from the state Covid-19 Taskforce has it that the new cases confirmed during the week in the state were part of the 307 new confirmed cases announced by the NCDC.

Deputy chairman of the state Covid-19 Taskforce and permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr  Inodu Apoku in the release summarized the status of the state’s fight against the novel virus as follows.

” In its usual manner the NCDC announced 307 new confirmed COVID -19 cases. Nine of these cases were samples from Bayelsa. These results are coming from a backlog of 62 samples sent to the UPTH COVID -19 laboratory last week in Port Harcourt”, he said.

” These nine newly confirmed cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the State to 21. Six of out of these nine cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases while three are not epidemiologically linked to any of the previous confirmed cases.Two of these fresh unlinked cases are critically ill and were on admission in our public Hospitals for other underlying illnesses.One had undergone sessions of dialysis even before samples were collected for COVID -19 testing at the instances of the consulting teams in collaboration with the State COVID -19 Rapid Response Team. The third unlinked case is a Health Care Professional”, he added.

According to the Taskforce, all nine new cases have since been evacuated for further treatment at the state’s Isolation facilities.saying all their contacts are being line listed and adequately followed up including necessary environmental decontamination.

Apoku hinted that Samples have  been collected from their high -risk contacts while they have all been counselled on self-quarantine,just as risk communication and community engagement are ongoing.

He stated that three cases were discharged during the past week,while One case was discharged on Saturday,harping that the two other cases including the doctor were discharged Sunday after all their repeat tests returned negative and patients’ clinical statuses had met other criteria for discharge.

Apoku noted that with the latest number of  discharges carried out by the Taskforce in the state Isolation facilities,total number of Covid-19 cases so far discharged by the state now totals nine while
the state still has eleven active cases,reiterating that all cases except the two cases who were previously on admission for other underlying illness are in stable clinical conditions.

The Taskforce while reiterating its commitment towards maintaining tempo in the War against the spread of the virus however regretted that they recorded their first death,noting that prior to the unfortunate demise of the Covid-19 patient he was responding to treatment.

“We recorded a death last week. The patient who was initially responding to treatment suddenly developed severe shortness of breath. All attempts to salvage him proved abortive even with the intensive and delicate procedures that were administered by the attending medical personnel. He has since been buried by the Bayelsa State COVID -19 Safe Burial team and witnessed by relatives, friends, and colleagues”,the taskforce noted.

The Deputy chairman restated the resolve of State Public Emergency Operations Centre,the COVID -19 Situation and War rooms of the State response as well as the State COVID -19 Task Force to remain on response mode, saying they will be doing their best to contain and mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

“We now use the UPTH Port Harcourt Reference COVID -19 Laboratory. In the past weeks, we have been sending an average of 25 samples daily to this facility. Most of these samples are contacts of confirmed cases. Little wonder our positive figures seem to be on the increase. This is because of our robust survelliance activities and improved testing rates”, Apoku added.

The taskforce expressed its appreciation to all health care workers,especially the frontliners whom they said have been tireless in their resolve and commitment to the COVID -19 response in the State.

” patients should confide in their physicians the true case history of their ill health. We have also commenced active health facility case search for any case of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection,SARI in our hospitals to have a sentinel insight into the importation and possible community transmission of COVID -19″, the taskforce noted.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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FRSC Decries The Deplorable State Of Roads In C’River

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has decried the deplorable states of roads in Cross River State.
Chatting with correspondents in Calabar, the State Acting Sector Commander, Benedict Akunne lamented the state of roads at Odukpani junction in particular.
Akunne said, “presently we are having a pathetic gridlock along Odukpani junction. It is terrible, the place is too bad and today I have dropped a letter to the government of Cross River State, pleading to help us work on the deplorable state of the road so that this traffic gridlock will be over.
“One of our responsibilities or mandates in FRSC is to locate bad spots on the road and communicate with relevant authorities about the bad spot and urge them to come and effect repairs. We have an outpost at Odukpani but what is happening there is terrible, what is happening there overwhelmed our men, we have to move our men from other areas to ensure that traffic congestion and grid-lock is reduced,” Akunne stated.
The Acting Sector Commander explained that the new normal the FRSC has put in place after the lockdown was the reintroduction of Mobile Court in full force.
“The Mobile Court operation will be in full force, we are set to go out to the road because we don’t want people to die anymore. We will move from park to park and ensure that every driver obey the protocol, washing of hands, wearing of facial mask, sanitizing and fumigation of motor parks,” he said.
He said that there was no gain stating the obvious that road traffic crashes are on the increase in some part of Nigeria even here in Cross River State and now that the ban on the interstate travels has been lifted.

According to the FRSC boss, “the first thing we will do is to check how we will stem the rising tide of road traffic crashes, known fully well that people have been hungry, people have been indoors, people have not been travelling and now the roads have been opened, we will experience a whole lot of travels,” he stressed.

“We must ensure that there is social distancing, we will also ensure that people that are entering the vehicles do not contact coronavirus just because they want to travel,” he stressed.
From Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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COVID-19: No Resumption Date Yet For Schools, Says Bayelsa Ministry Of Education …Warns Private Schools Proprietors, Commences e-Learning

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Permanent Secretary Bayelsa state Ministry of Education,comrade Walton Liverpool says no date has been slated for the resumption of schools in the state.

Liverpool hinted The Tide this during an interview held with him in Yenagoa.

According to him,that the Federal Government has slated part reopening of schools for 3rd August is not a yardstick that the state must do so.

He noted that due to the peculiar nature of the state in terms of having more far-flung communities in all the Local Government Areas,the Government is being meticulous in resuming schools without adequate preparations, saying that before doing so the state Government through the Ministry of Education would work out appropriate and sustainable modalities to ensuring that Covid-19 is contained in the Education sector within the requisite National centre for disease control,NCDC stipulated guidelines.

Liverpool restated his commitment towards ensuring an unimpeded school curricular,emphasizing that the Ministry has since introduced various e-learning platforms comprising the social and electronic media to

cushion the learning deficit occasioned by the pandemic.

While reacting to the recent feud between the State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers,NUT and the Academic staff union of secondary schools,ASUSS the Education Permanent Secretary who served as the pioneer state chairman of the NUT berated ASUSS,saying they took the laws in their hands.

He described ASUSS as an association and not a registered trade union,advising that they desist from further parading themselves as such,just as he restated that under his leadership in NUT years ago a similar splinter group sprung up, reassuring however,that there was a solution to the problem which can still be applied today to amicably resolve the lingering issues rather than parade as a splinter group.

“We’ve not taken a date to resume schools in the state.Even though the Federal Government has taken and again reordered,due to our peculiar problems we’ve not slated any date”, he said.

“Before we reopen we would have to provide measures to containing the spread in and amongst our schools”, he added.

“But to bridge the learning vacuum created by

Covid-19 the Education Ministry has commenced e-learning programmes on different social media platforms and on Radio too for schools and students in both primary and secondary schools in the state”, he stated.

“For ASSUS, my advise for them is that they stop parading themselves as a trade union henceforth.They’re an Association under the NUT and not a trade union as they claim. I’ve been the NUT state chairman and I know this very well” he concluded.

Meanwhile in a press statement made available to The Tide by the Ministry,the permanent secretary has warned owners and the management of private schools in the state to desist from resuming schools.

The pioneer State NUT chairman restated that even though the West African Examinations council has fixed 3rd August and 5th September as the date for the commencement and rounding up of the 2020 WASSCE the schools in the state may not resume until the state is certified fit by the NCDC to reopen schools.

In another development it seems not yet Uhuru with the proposed schools reopening date in Nigeria as the Federal Government has again reordered its earlier decision on the resumption

date.

In the same vein there are indications that in consonance with dissenting opinions on a possible resumption date as earlier expressed by some state Governments and stakeholders in the Education sector, the Federal Government may no longer be willing to permit Nigeria’s participation in the regional examinations this year following the resurgence of more cases of the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tide learnt that the Federal Ministry of Education has expressed concerns on the safety of Nigerian students when schools are resumed amidst rising number of the Coronavirus infections in the country.

You would be recalled that penultimate week the Federal Government announced August 3rd as the resumption date of schools in Nigeria, while the West African Examinations council,WAEC also followed suit by giving 3rd  August through 5th September as dates for kick-starting and ending up of this year’s WASSCE.

Inset:comrade Walton Liverpool, PS Bayelsa state Ministry of Education.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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LG Service Commission Chairman Calls For Recognition Of RDAs, Creation Of More LGAs For Bayelsa State

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Acting Chairman, Bayelsa state Local Government service commission, Barr Uroh Omiekumo Kiani says the 8 local government status of the state remains a ploy by the Nigerian Government to continue marginalising the people of the state in Governance.

Kiani stated this on Tuesday while fielding questions on prospects and challenges of the state local Government service commission with The Tide in Yenagoa.

The legal practitioner and administrator stressed the need for the recognition of the existing 32 rural development authorities,RDAs in the state and creation of more Local governments, saying that when this is done the state would also be receiving more funding from the Federal Government, as according to him outside the usual 13% derivation formular that is employed by the Federal Government in sharing revenue between the states,Federal and Local governments in the nation, the number of Local Governments in a state is also used as a parameter to make allocations.

He added that over the years efforts by the state’s national Assembly caucus and other sympathisers to effect changes in the number of Local governments in the state has proved

abortive due to parochialism in the nation’s politics.

“Given the opportunity I’ll move for the recognition of the existing 32 RDAs in the state as local governments and ask for the creation of more”, he said.

“But the Nigeria system,our constitution has made it very difficult,because all the existing 774 LGAs in the country are listed in the constitution. So to create more you’ll have to amend that provision of the constitution”,he added.

“Our National Assembly members over the years have been helpless,that is because in Nigeria given the chance every state would want to ask for more just because Bayelsa is asking to be treated well in the number if recognised LGAs”, he restated.

The Local government service commission boss who also spoke on the welfare of staff in the various RDAs and councils ares of the state noted that the last time recruitment exercise was done in the Local Government system in the state was in 2012,emphasizing that the recruitment of staff for the LGAs by the commission is restricted to grade levels 7 and above,just as he pointed out that the junior staff recruitment committee of the unified Local

governments.

Inset: Barr.Uroh Omiekumo Kiani,Ag.Chairman Bayelsa state LG service commission.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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