Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has tested negative for the Coronavirus, putting to rest the speculations and anxiety over his health status.
The governor’s acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said in a press release that the test result was obtained on Thursday from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)-accredited laboratory at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State.
“The result showed that Governor Douye Diri had “no evidence of COVID-19 infection,” he said.
Officials of the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health led by the State Epidemiologist, Ifiemi Iwuji, had on Wednesday conducted the test and the samples sent to the Irrua Specialist Hospital.
Before the governor opted for the test, he had been inundated with phone calls and messages following speculations on the social media that he might have been infected. This was fuelled by his sitting next to a North East state governor, who later tested positive for the virus, during the last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, on March 19.
The information about the governor’s clean bill of health threw excited Bayelsans into jubilation with some describing it as yet another miracle for the man who has been christened the “Miracle Governor.
On his part, Governor Diri expressed appreciation to Nigerians and Bayelsans for their concern, love and good wishes toward him and his family.
He also prayed for a reversal and healing for all those that had been infected by the pandemic.
His words: “I had to take the test so as to douse the tension and end all the speculation. Besides, I needed to know my status concerning the COVID-19. I am therefore thankful to God that the result was negative as I anticipated.
“I also thank Nigerians and Bayelsans all over the world for their concern, love and prayers. I pray for everyone that has been infected by this disease to be healed.”
Governor Diri said his administration would continue to take the appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
As part of these measures, civil servants on Grade Level 1 to 12 have been directed to stay at home for two weeks with effect from March 26 just as all public and private primary and secondary schools in the state have been shut down.
The state government had also suspended for two weeks burial and wedding ceremonies while the number of persons at worship centres and public gatherings has been reduced to not more than 20. The restriction order also affected night clubs and drinking bars in the state.