Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki said on Thursday that health workers in the state are now to receive between N90,000 and N300,00 as hazard allowance depending on their cadre. Obaseki, however, clarified that only the health workers participating in the fight against COVID-19 would benefit from the newly approved allowance.
Speaking at a press briefing where he also announced the extension of erstwhile 10-day dusk to dawn curfew of 7 pm to 6 am to 8pm to 6am for another 14 days as part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Obaseki declared wanted for treatment, a nursing mother, one Amaka Okoro, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, but had been unreachable since her test returned positive. The governor said Okoro whose baby was already coughing, resides at 2, Atoe Idubor Str, off 2nd Ugbor, Benin-City.
Obaseki who last briefed the state on government’s effort to combat the pandemic 10 days ago, said the state had made tremendous progress in the areas of, screening, testing and improved awareness of the citizenry about the virus. The governor said “Working closely with public and private hospitals, we have screened about 20,000 people and tested 297 citizens. These increased screening and testing is the reason for the increased number of cases in the state. We are aggressively pushing to screen our minimum target of about 500,000 people and test about one percent of them which is about 5,000 in the next few weeks”.
According to Obaseki, “as we increase testing, we are likely to see an astronomic rise in the number of cases in the state. Of about 20,000 people we have screened and the 297 samples taken, we have recorded 37 confirmed cases as at today, discharged eight and lost three people”. He noted that “late testing was a strong factor leading to fatality. “That is why I am advising that everybody go out for screening at the numerous screening centres in the state,” he said.
Obaseki said the various screening centres offer free medical services, free face masks and free multivitamins. He was confident that “we can beat this virus if we follow the measures put in place strictly” and appreciated Edo people for their cooperation and compliance with the curfew imposed 10 day ago. “I know that the curfew has created inconvenience and loss of income to many families; however, this is the sacrifice we have to pay to protect the citizens and their families”.
The governor said government had decided to commence another round of palliative distribution to the vulnerable groups in the communities, stating that “With the lessons we have learnt in the past, we have put measures in place to make sure that only the targeted people receives these items”.
Obaseki thanked the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Tony Aziegbemi for volunteering to serve in the state COVID-19 Response Committee and called on politicians to suspend politics and focus on how to contain the spread of the disease in the state.