Mr Charles Aniagwu, Delta Commissioner for Information, says now is time for wealthy Nigerians and religious groups to give back to the society to ameliorate the suffering cause by coronavirus pandemic-occasioned lockdown.
The commissioner made the request on Monday in Asaba while briefing newsmen on the state government’s preparedness for total lockdown in the state from Wednesday, April 1.
He said that the lockdown had become necessary to check and contain the disease from spreading and escalating.
He stated that the 14 days stay at home directive had become necessary to prevent the pandemic and contain transmission.
He said although the state had not recorded any incidence, every precautionary measure was being put in place to ensure that even when any case was reported it will be managed effectively.
He said that all burial ceremonies must be kept low and handled by the family members alone.
He said that the state government among other things had already acquired 19 ventilators to support any victim who might have difficulty in breathing.
He said that the ministry and all relevant committees on COVID-19 in the state would constantly brief newsmen on developments regarding the pandemic.
“Now is not time for people to report false information on the pandemic.
“We have 12 holding centres across the state where suspects will be referred to before taking them to the various isolation centres for further treatment.
“We should sensitise the people to keep the rules of respiratory hygiene, social distancing and regular hand washing, adding that `prevention is better than cure’.
“As from Wednesday, all markets, government offices and movement will be shutdown; people should sit at home for two weeks except for those on essential duties who must move with their identifications.
“It has also become necessary to call on the Federal Government to direct a total shutdown of all movements and interstate movements to curtail the pandemic because there could be a re-infection from states that refused to shutdown.
“I want to appeal to the media to verify their facts before going to press; this is not time to report fake news.
“We also use this opportunity to appeal to well meaning and wealthy Nigerians, the churches and the Mosques that it is time to give back to the people and not to take from them.
“This is not also time to hike prices of goods; those who are blessed should lend a helping hand to the people in this challenging period.’’
The commissioner noted that security agents had been deployed to strategic position to enforce the total lockdown to prevent movements from state to state.
He, however, appealed to the security personnel to apply best practices and live above board in manning the situation.