By Shedrack Frank
Yenagoa – Bayelsa has recorded 54 new cases of COVID-19, the Deputy Chairman of the state COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Inodu Akpoku, has disclosed.
Akpoku, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Yenagoa, described the latest figure as the highest confirmed cases in a day so far.
He said that the new cases had brought the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state to 86.
Akpoku, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, said that eight of the confirmed cases were health workers.
He further disclosed that the new confirmed cases were recorded from 76 samples sent to test laboratories located in the South-South zone.
The deputy chairman added that the state had, in the last two weeks, had over 300 pending samples of suspected COVID-19 cases in various laboratories across the South-South zone.
He said that the laboratories were having issues with reagents and supplies, hence the delay in returning the results.
He said: “Yesterday, we received results from 76 samples; 54 returned positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 86 in the state. We are expecting more test results from today as well.
“Eleven of these positive cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases; eight are healthcare professionals.
“All the positive cases are being reached and counselled for evacuation to our isolation facilities.
“Also, all their contacts are being line-listed and adequately followed-up, while necessary environmental decontamination is also being done.
”Samples have and are still being collected from their high-risk contacts, while they have all been counselled on the need for self-isolation.”
Akpoku, who said that risk communication and community engagement were ongoing, added average of 40 samples were being sent daily to the UPTH reference centre and other laboratories across the zone.
He said that the core of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy was to test aggressively, isolate, treat and conduct robust contacts-tracing, adding that it was now apparent that the state was dealing with community transmission.
“We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we have our own molecular laboratory in the state, following the donation of a new RT-PCR machine by the Shell joint partners to the state,” he said.