With the countdown of six days to the commencement of the National Sports Festival in the Edo State capital, Benin City; the Federal Government has restated its affirmative actions towards containment and preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19; and resolved to host the Sports Festival tagged ‘ EDO 2020’ slated for 22nd March – 1st April 2020.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Minister of Health, made this declaration during a Press Briefing in Abuja. Reinforcing the position of the Federal Government towards the hosting of the Unity Games in the present circumstance, the Minister categorically said ”As far as the Sports Festival is concerned, we shall recommend to the Organizers to screen everybody both participating and all the spectators, because at the moment we don’t see very strong strong threat internally .

Expatiating on this medical advice, Dr Ehanire stated that ” we are not recommending ban on everything unless the situation changes. Nevertheless, the precaution of making sure that everyone is screened is our focus.

Those who are looking in any way suspicious will be disallowed entry straightaway so that they don’t pose any kind of risk to others, until their symptoms are clear. If the Organizers do that, I think there is no good reason not to hold the festival.

Continuing, the Minister of Health argued persuasively and stated that ” Every country takes measures that are consistent with its own situation. There are countries where the virus is spreading widely and they have been forced to cancel various activities whether it is business, trade fair etc. We are not in that category, and we thank God . As it is now, we have seen a couple of cases which we have been able to contain. If you don’t have very pressing reasons, you don’t have to start banning everything‚Ķ”

Recall that most recently, Dr Osagie Ehanire declared during his widely transmitted update on television that the two suspected index cases have tested negative.

Corroborating the above submissions by the Health Minister on preventive and proactive measures, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare admonished all athletes and participating officials to abide with his advisory on usage of Hand Sanitizers throughout the duration of the Sports festival, as part of a wider safety steps/measures by the Main Organizing Committee on ”Edo 2020”; towards ensuring a secure, virus free and successful games.

Furthermore, it is pertinent to state that Mr Dare during his three states visit to Asaba in Delta State enroute Awka in Anambra, and finally to Benin City, Edo State; he met with the Local Organizing Committee ( LOC) to review the medical preparations for Edo 2020 Games, especially to review plans for the containment of any suspected case and possible spread of the virus. The Deputy Governor of Edo state was around to assist the Minister of Youth and Sports Devlpt. as partners in a mission of actualizing national unity, stability and economic prosperity for our youths through the instrumentality of sports.

Ramon Balogun.
Asst. Director.
For : Director Press.


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