Home Politics Bayelsa Govt. urges residents to discountenance myths on COVID-19

Bayelsa Govt. urges residents to discountenance myths on COVID-19


By Shedrack Frank

Yenagoa – Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has urged residents of the state to discountenance mythical beliefs in some quarters, that COVID-19 is not real but a mere ploy by government to make money.

The deputy governor made the call in Yenagoa, at a meeting with local government chairmen, primary healthcare coordinators and other critical stakeholders in the fight against the spread of the pandemic in the state.

Ewhrudjakpo’s media aide, Mr Doubra Atasi, on Wednesday quoted him as urging the people to disabuse their minds of such beliefs and opinions as no responsible government would play politics with the health of its citizens.

The governor said COVID-19 was real and therefore required the cooperation of all to overcome the health and socioe-conomic challenges thrown up by the disease.

“There is this seeming impression that COVID-19 is not real, and that it is a mere ploy to either collect money or do some other activities.

“There are different myths, beliefs and behavior that are still affecting most of our people.

“It’s quite unfortunate. This means there is still lack of behavioral change among our people particularly those in the rural communities.

Ewhrudjakpo identified prevention as the best panacea for the ravaging virus as there had yet to be a scientifically approved cure or vaccine for the novel pandemic.

Responding to the briefings by the participants at the meeting, the deputy governor expressed dissatisfaction with the level of sensitisation and other preventive measures put in place in to contain the pandemic in the rural areas.

“Your response in my considered opinion is not very encouraging. People don’t seem to understand the seriousness of coronavirus, maybe due to the seeming low fatality rate in the country for now.

“The state COVID-19 team reviewed the situation and it was clear that what is happening in the local government areas is a far cry from what is happening at the state level.

“The virus is real, and so, we must all redouble our efforts to curb its spread in the rural areas. We will not succeed in this fight if you show indifference and lack of commitment.

“Right now there is a palpable fear and danger that our neighbouring states have become states of particular interest to the Federal Government. There is therefore need for us to up our game,” he said.

He urged the local government area COVID-19 containment teams to intensify efforts at promoting the World Health Organisation (WHO) safety protocols in their areas, as adopted by the state government.

He also directed the COVID-19 containment teams to liaise with their state counterparts to get their fair share of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical consumables for onward distribution to frontline health workers in the communities

Addressing the issue of funding, Ewhrudjakpo pledged government’s financial support to councils within the limits of available resources through “strategic budgeting.”

The deputy governor explained that funds would be allocated to the councils based on thier levels of commitment to the fight against the pandemic, and not on the basis of equality.


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