Coronavirus Updates

April 12, 2020

COVID-19: Deltans worship at home as churches comply with lockdown order

• Two suspected cases test negative in Bayelsa

• Gov Emmanuel urges prayer for COVID-19 patients, others


By Samuel Oyadongha, Festus Ahon, Perez Brisibe, Chioma Onuegbu, Harris Emmanuel & Emma Una

As Christians world over celebrate Easter on Sunday, residents of Asaba and its environs in Delta State worshipped at their homes in compliance with the state government lockdown aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Our correspondent who drove round parts of the state capital, reports that the Orthodox and Pentecostal churches were under lock and key, while the Oracle of God Ministry belonging to a former acting governor in the state which opened last Sunday was locked.

There was light vehicular and human traffic on the major streets of Asaba metropolis, as the popular Nnembisi, Okpanam, Summit Roads were deserted. The very few people on the road were seen with food items, as they had apparently gone out in search of food for the Easter celebration.

A lady who spoke to Vanguard on Nnembisi Road, close to the Stadium, Mrs Felicia Nwabiakwu said she went out to get chicken and other cooking items to prepare food for her family.

Meanwhile, the state government, on Saturday reinstated the lockdown order in the state and advised residents of the state to worship at home.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said, “In consonance with the rules and according to international best practices as enunciated by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the state government urges Deltans, especially Christians to worship from home as the lockdown order is still in force.

“We thank Deltans for their support so far and urge them to continue to obey relevant instructions as it has become apparent that the virus is spreading in the state.

“We will continue to partner the Federal Government on effective implementation of its regulations on measures to curtail further spread of the virus in our state and country.”

2 suspected cases test negative in Bayelsa

Meanwhile, two suspected Covid-19 cases in Bayelsa State have tested negative for the virus.

Chairman of the Implementation Committee of Bayelsa State Task Force On Covid-19, Dr. Inodu Apoku, disclosed this in a statement, Sunday,  in Yenagoa.

He said: “The samples were collected from the suspects at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Yenagoa, for testing at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State last Monday.

“The results were received on Thursday and the suspects have been discharged from FMC.”

Gov Emmanuel urges prayer for COVID-19 patients, others

In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has called on Christians to use the Easter celebration to offer prayers for the recovery of those who have contacted COVID-19 virus and are receiving treatment.

Emmanuel who spoke during his Easter broadcast said,  “To our sons and daughters who are at the battle front of our fight to rid our state of this virus, we salute your courage and appreciate the risks  you are taking to keep our society safe.

“We also salute the security personnel for maintaining the peace and security in our dear state, standing under scorching sun. Let us pray for their safety and strength. Let us pray for the recovery of those who have contacted the virus and are receiving treatment.

“This may not be a happy Easter for them, but we know that as God rewarded the midwives of Egypt for their kindness to the children of Israel, He will reward every one of them with immeasurable blessings and protection.”

The governor regretted that this year’s Easter season had come at a time when most part of the world are in a lockdown as a result of the need to stop mankind from being consumed by the fatal fangs of COVID-19, which is one of the most virulent pandemics in recent history.

Cleric assures of God’s power over COVID-19 at Easter

Nigerians and indeed, citizens of the world have been assured of the power of God to intervene in the affairs of men, especially in the current pandemic called COVID-19.

Pastor Irame Symbol, leader of the Love God’s Direction Movement, LGD, and Founder of Gospel Buz Foundation International, gave the assurance during an online Easter Sunday message Sunday.

He compared the global lockdown forcing people to stay at home as a measure of containing the spread of Coronavirus to the biblical episode in Mark 16: 1-4, when three faithful of Jesus; Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of Jesus and Salome found it difficult to access and anoint the body of Christ because a great stone barred the way to the tomb, where the body of Christ laid.

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Pastor Symbol said: “Just what happened at that time is what is happening today. Everyone, rich and poor, politicians and the masses, the strong and the weak, are locked down.

“Our worry now is, who will roll away this large stone called Coronavirus from the entrance of our houses so we could come out and be free again?

“The only way is for all persons to follow the way of God by loving God’s direction, say no to corruption and eschew violence.

“If we do these, the present stone– Coronavirus–will be rolled away for us by our God Almighty and the whole world will regain freedom.”

Jegede donates food items, seeks help for the poor

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship hopeful in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, has advised well-to-do Nigerians to see the Coronavirus pandemic as a global disaster, and sacrifice resources in aid of the vulnerable.

He spoke in Akure, Ondo State,  weekend,  where he donated food items to party leaders and other members of the public, aimed at cushioning the effects of some restrictions occasioned by the pandemic, otherwise known as Covid-19.

He said: “Coronavirus was not in any way anticipated or prepared for. But what is uppermost is the two-fold fact that while observing precautionary steps, the well-to-do citizens should rise in support of the poor and the vulnerable.

“I’m not aware that Covid-19 has a political party, or belongs to an interest group. It’s like a plague threatening human existence.

“We should all realise that only the living can rule and be ruled, govern and be governed, and command and be commanded,” he added.

Gbagi Foundation splashes cash on the needy, physically challenged

To cushion the economic impact of the 14-day lockdown ordered by Governor Okowa in Delta State and in the spirit of Easter, the Gbagi Foundation has donated cash and food items to the needy and 128 persons living with disabilities in the state under the aegis of Delta Disability Vanguard, DDV and Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD.

The amount which was undisclosed, was sent directly to the individual bank accounts of the 128 members of the groups in continuation of the philanthropic gesture of the foundation chaired by Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, while the food items range from bags of rice, beans, garri and cartons of noodles, were donated to the needy at Oginibo community in Ughelli South council area of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the foundation during an interaction with leaders of the physically challenged drawn from different local government areas in the state at Ughelli, Chief Emuoboh Gbagi said, the exercise was born out of the philanthropic gesture of the chairman of the foundation.

APC chieftain faults Ayade on COVID-19 fight in Cross River

MR Godie Akpama, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Cross River State has expressed displeasure over Governor Ben Ayade’s measures in fighting the  Coronavirus pandemic which the state is yet to record any case.

Akpama, a former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Alliance, APA, in a statement, weekend in Calabar said that the money used in the purchase of  50 cars by the governor which he handed over to his aides should have been used in setting up a testing centre and equipping an isolation centre in the event of an occurrence of the virus in the state.

“Let me state categorically that the 50  cars is a misplaced priority because they cannot address the immediate health challenges the state is faced with. Having looked critically at the use which those cars have been put to,  I am of the view that purchasing  more ambulances would have been better for the state because they  would serve present and future uses in cases of health emergencies.’’