COVID-19: Don’t lay-off workers, Obaseki urges employers

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…first patient arrives Stella Obasanjo isolation centre


Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

By Ozioruva Aliu

BENIN CITY – THE Edo State Government has urged employers of labour in the state not to lay off staff, but rather explore human-faced measures to support workers who are at home due to the restrictions imposed to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Governor Godwin Obaseki, who made the appeal, said such measures were necessary because of the peculiarities of the fight against COVID-19, which has disrupted the world.

He said “I encourage employers not to lay off staff this period, but to explore human-faced measures to support employees during this crisis. This, my people, is a time to show love and a sense of community, so we can win this war as one united people driven by our common zeal to survive and thrive.”

The governor assured that the state government has put measures in place to check the spread of the virus and would continue to review the measures daily to ensure that it curtails the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, has revealed that the Stella Obasanjo Hospital Isolation Center (SOHIC) has commenced treatment for the first coronavirus patient at the facility, noting that the patient is responding well to treatment.

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The commissioner said the state has recorded 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while contact tracing of 299 persons is ongoing across the affected Local Government Areas (LGAs).

He said seven of the cases are receiving treatment and follow up at home while one is presently at the Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin City, two at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City and the remaining three at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, (ISTH).

Okundia said the 14 confirmed cases were recorded in Oredo (5), Esan West (4), Egor (3), and Ovia North East (2) LGAs.

Okundia urged residents to complement the state government’s efforts at preventing further spread of the infectious disease by observing precautionary measures and complying with other government’s guidelines against the spread of the virus.

He said “As the state government intensifies efforts to contain the pandemic, we urge all residents to stay at home and observe social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures against the disease, including regular hand-washing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. If you must go out, do so wearing facemasks. Cover your mouth and nose properly when sneezing and/or coughing. Also, do well to report anyone with oversea travel history.”


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