Nyesom Wike, Rivers State Governor, has ordered all the Government House employees to go for COVID- 19 tests or lose their salaries.
According to Wike, he said the ongoing increased testing for coronavirus in the state was part of his government’s commitment to saving more lives.
As the statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the governor spoke when the Executive Director of BUA Foundation presented three ambulances to him at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor insisted that more testing would reveal more COVID-19 cases to enable the government to dedicate prompt medical attention to the people.
He said: “The more we test, the more the number will increase and we are willing to continue to test. Let our people know that this not the kind of sickness to be ashamed of. Nobody knows who you have shaken hands with.
“I’m sure, in Rivers State, we have lost not less than 38 lives on the record. Nobody will be happy that each day you wake up, you hear that somebody, probably a breadwinner of the family, is no longer there because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In fact, I have given a directive that all staff of government House must go for testing, Nobody knows who is a carrier and we must save everybody as much as we can.”
Wike lauded the sustained support from BUA Foundation to the Rivers state government particularly at the period of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said most companies in the state were only interested in making a profit but would not support the government to save lives.
He said: “BUA group has not only come to support us at this critical period but they have shown that really, they are part and parcel of the state. I sincerely commend you.
“So many companies shy away from identifying with the state where they operate because of lack of understanding. Making profit alone is what is important to them but to support the government to save a life is very difficult for them.
“You have donated to the Rivers state government the sum N100million before, you have given us a lorry load of other items. Today, you have given us three life support ambulances.
“I want to sincerely say that Rivers State government will continue to identify with you and to make sure that we make the environment easy for you to continue to do your business.
“All those who are here and not supporting us to save a life in the state should not also expect to get cooperation from the Rivers state government. Those I consider as brothers and sisters are persons who identify with me when I’m in trouble.
“Do not relent in supporting the government of the state. This is where you’re doing business. We are peaceful people and have fought insecurity to the lowest ebb. You can attest to the fact today that, apart from to COVID-19, Rivers state is safe,” he added.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of BUA Foundation, Khalifa Rabiu expressed appreciation to Wike for creating a conducive business environment for their operations.
He said they had donated N100 million and a lorry load of COVID-19 preventive items included the three ambulances.
Rabiu said the donation was a show of their support to the Rivers state government to enable it to succeed in the fight against COVID-19.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said 3,434 samples had been tested and that the state treatment center successfully managed and discharged about 584 patients.
Chike also said there are about 284 medical personnel engaged and catered for by the state government at the treatment centers, and surveillance offices.
“This is exclusive of those sponsored by the international oil companies. The state government also released over 40 ambulances to strengthen the response capacity of the team”, he said