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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has denied directing government officials and civil servants in the state to undergo COVID-19 test.

In a statement on Sunday, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said Okowa had continued to advise that anyone feeling unwell should go to any of the COVID-19 centres across for proper check and treatment, where necessary.

Ifeajika said that contrary to reports in the social media, the governor’s position since the global pandemic spread to Delta State, had always been, an appeal to citizens to adhere to the protocols prescribed by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to stem the spread of the virus in the state.

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According to him, there was no time that the governor gave any directive, either by internal memo or any press release that government officials should go for test for any disease, including COVID-19. 

The governor’s spokesman also distanced his office and the state government from another social media report to the effect that the entire media team of the governor tested positive for COVID-19, culminating to the shutdown of the Press Unit.

According to the CPS, all the reports are deliberate falsehood, and the purveyors are hereby challenged to publish the alleged internal memo and the signatory.

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 He stated  that  the concocted stories, especially the one on no fewer than 43 members of Government House press crew testing positive for COVID-19, only existed in the imagination of the authors as he  never spoke to any journalist on the matter.

 Mr Ifeajika added that he did not address journalists on Wednesday or any other day recently, not the least, the author of the falsehood, describing the action of the author of the reports as irresponsible and yellow journalism, a misnomer that is acidic and seriously abhorred in the profession.

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He noted that the state government has authorised sources of information, which pass information to the public saying anything not released from such sources is fake news and should be discountenanced by members of the public.

Mr Ifeajika assured that government would continue to promptly announce any development in the management of the pandemic in the state through its official channels.

The CPS advised journalists to contact the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the governor for clarification, as the office is available round the clock for journalists to seek clarifications on issues.


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