Edo State Government on Thursday said it has send samples of nine new suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID -19) to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) for testing.
The State Commissioner for Health, Patrick Okundia, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists at the Government House in Benin City.
Okundia said the samples of the nine new suspected cases were collected from four Local Government Areas of the state.
The commissioner, who said the nine samples were collected in Esan West (4), Esan Central (2), Oredo (2), and Orhionmwon (1) LGAs, however, urged residents to stay at home and observe other precautionary measures to avert further spread of the virus.
“As at today, we have recorded nine new suspected cases in Edo State, raising the total number of suspected cases to 72. There are 288 persons who had contacts with confirmed cases. The number is likely to increase significantly in the next few weeks, unless we take very drastic actions to slow down the spread.
“This we can achieve by complying with the state government’s stay-at-home and social distancing directives, as well as other precautionary measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease.”
While assuring that all COVID-19 patients in the state are responding well to treatment, he added that the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, had ordered the shutdown of any hotel found to be hosting guests who travelled in from outside Edo state and does not inform the COVID-19 response team to screen such guests.
He also said vehicles with passengers not adhering to the social distancing regulations will be impounded and their drivers prosecuted.
“As a government, we have taken serious steps to prevent further spread of this virus. Though we are also ready to handle any cases recorded in the state, we urge all residents to support the state government and other health practitioners as we intensify efforts to keep Edo people safe and healthy,” he added.