Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Friday said there was no record of Indian COVID-19 variant in the state, as was speculated on social media.

The governor stated this in Benin at a news conference to provide an update on COVID-19 response in the state.

Mr Obaseki was represented by the Permanent Secretary from the state Ministry of Health, Osamwonyi Irowa.

He said the federal government had on April 26, taken precautionary steps by restricting international travel from India, Brazil and Turkey to curtail COVID-19.

“We as government have reached out to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) with regards to any Indian variant in Edo and the verified information reveals that the said sample was collected in January.

“There is currently no update or report suggestive of any such occurrence or new case of COVID-19 reported within Edo in the past 96 hours.

“Edo has witnessed a 12.9 per cent drop in the number of infected persons comparatively,” he said.

According to him, there has also been a 23.5 per cent comparative increase in the number of older persons infected with COVID-19 in the two waves of COVID-19 in the state.

Mr Obaseki said that the prevalence of COVID-19 among young persons, especially school children in Edo was low, as it has dropped by 18.5 per cent comparatively for the first and second wave.

He explained that out of a total of 54,534 COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction samples for testing, 4,905 persons had been infected with COVID-19 and five persons were currently on treatment, while 4,715 persons had recovered from the disease.

“A total of 185 persons have died, with no new case reported in the past 48 hours across the State.

“A total of 36,235 persons have been vaccinated across the State with the first dose of AstraZeneca Vaccine accounting for 89.1 per cent of our set target already vaccinated,” he said.

Mr Obaseki said that schools should revert to normal session arrangements of 8 a.m. to 2p.m. and enforce a “no facemask no entry” mandate.

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He stressed that people must wear masks that completely cover both the mouth and nose, while temperature checks should be positioned at entry points into the schools.

He urged all “eligible citizens” to be vaccinated against coronavirus as soon as possible, describing it as a major step in curbing the pandemic.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that on May 4, federal government barred passengers coming from India, Brazil and Turkey coming to Nigeria

The step was part of precautionary measures to reduce the risk of a spike in COVID-19 infections as concerns over the new wave of the disease in some parts of the world continue to mount.

The federal government in its statement also threatened to impose a fine of $3,500 per passenger on any airline that fails to adhere to the instructions.

(NAN)

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