The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has tested negative for the Coronavirus Disease amid speculations and anxiety over his health status.
The Governor’s acting Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, made the disclosure in a statement in Yenagoa on Thursday.
Alabrah said the test result was obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control accredited laboratory in Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State.
“The result showed that Diri had no evidence of COVID-19 infection,” the acting chief press secretary said.
Officials of the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health, led by the State Epidemiologist, Ifiemi Iwuji, on Wednesday, took the sample for the test to the Irrua Specialist Hospital.
Alabrah stated: “Before the governor opted for the test, he had been inundated with phone calls and messages, following speculations on the social media that he may have been infected.
“This was fuelled by his sitting next to a Northeast 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.”
Meanwhile, Diri has expressed appreciation to Nigerians and the people of Bayelsa State in particular for their concern, love and good wishes toward him and his family.
He said: “I prayed for a reversal and healing for all those that have been infected by the pandemic. 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.”
Diri gave the assurance that his administration would continue to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
As part of measures to prevent the spread COVID-19, the state government earlier directed civil servants on salary grade level 1 to 12 to stay at home for two weeks with effect from March 26.
All public and private primary and secondary schools in the state have been shut down while burial and wedding ceremonies have been suspended for two weeks.