The death toll from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Edo State has climbed to 50, with a total of 1,435 people testing positive for the disease, while 840 persons have been discharged from the state isolation facilities.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, noted that over 50 percent of the deaths recorded in the state fall within the age category of 60 years and above, urging residents to be cautious to protect themselves and their loved ones.
While expressing worry over the alarming rate of community spread of the virus, Okundia advised that there was a need for residents to take responsibility and support the government's efforts at containing the pandemic across all communities in the state.
According to him, "Physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks, hand hygiene and other epidemiological safety rules must be strictly followed in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the people, especially the elderly, who are most vulnerable to COVID-19."
The commissioner explained that the state recorded 52 new confirmed cases with 32 tested at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory, while the remaining 20 cases were confirmed at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.
Okundia, however, reiterated the need for citizens to present or report themselves through the Edo State COVID-19 toll-free response lines following any recent travel from high incidence states or contact with confirmed cases.
He noted, "Two new toll-free lines for COVID-19 response have been introduced by the Edo State Government to strengthen the initial lines from the State Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), distributed at the onset of the outbreak.