Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has expressed determination to provide a palliative to cushion the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on the people of the state.
The governor made the pledge on Thursday in Ibusa, when he inspected the food bank in Ibusa.
Mr Okowa said he would set up committees comprising local government chairmen, the clergy, opinion leaders, women and youth representatives, to ensure that the food items got to the right people.
The governor said the bulk of the food items, including rice and beans, which would be distributed in a few days, were procured by the state government and that the rest came from donors.
He thanked the donors for the support and called on others to contribute to the three food banks established by the state government at Ibusa, Warri and Asaba.
Mr Okowa said more food items were needed to enable the government to cover all parts of the state.
He disclosed that the distribution would commence at the weekend to the various wards, adding that measures had been put in place to ensure that the food items got to the vulnerable irrespective of their political or other leanings.
“We have food stocked in our warehouses in Ibusa, Asaba and Warri and these are the three spots from which we will commence distribution to our various wards and villages.
“We have beans for distribution; we also have rice, noodles and some other food items for distribution and we have constituted committees comprising every local government chairmen, members of the House of Assembly and religious leaders.
“The committees have been put in place at the local government and at the ward levels, and we have emphasised that there will be no politics in the distribution of these items. It is for every Deltan and non-Deltan living in the state.
“We also appeal to privileged citizens in our various communities to support the effort of the government,” he said.
He also announced that some persons and organisations had made fiscal donations to the state’s COVID-19 account at the bank and expressed appreciation to the donors.
“I appeal to people who will want to make donations to please attend to us at this point in time because people are actually in need,’’ he added.
The governor disclosed that the fourth confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state was being treated at one of the isolation centres in Asaba, adding that the patients currently on treatment at the centres in the state were doing well.
He said that more blood samples of suspected cases had been sent to the laboratory for test, and advised those with symptoms of the virus to quickly reach out to medical experts or the COVID-19 team to avert complications and infection of other persons.
Mr Okowa advised owners of private health facilities to report suspected cases of the virus to Public Health Centres to protect other persons from the infectious disease.
He said distribution of the first phase of one million face masks produced by the state government for residents of the state would commence in two weeks.
He said the face masks are made of clothing materials that can be used continuously after being washed with soap and water.
“I have also specifically stated too that we have already made face masks for our people because we are aware that many of them may not be able to purchase for themselves,” he said.
The governor pledged his administration’s determination to make the state safe and healthy for all residents.
The governor was conducted round the food bank by the Secretary to State Government, Chiedu Ebie and some members of the state Executive council.
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