Asaba — In furtherance of efforts to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on the vulnerable segment of the society, the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday flagged off the distribution of various foodstuff donated by a concerned private sector group, the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CA-COVID).
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Events Centre in Asaba, Okowa assured the people that his administration would continue to partner the private sector and individuals in mitigating the harsh effects of COVID-19 particularly on less-privileged citizens in the state.
While commending the CA-COVID "for deeming it necessary to pull resources together to make the donation aimed at ameliorating the plight of the downtrodden in the society," the governor said such gesture was particularly noteworthy coming at "this critical time that hunger tends to abound in the society."
He noted that the donation was apt and timely as the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected small and medium scale businesses, saying the kind gesture from the private sector would go a long way in addressing the problem of hunger among the economically disadvantaged citizens in the state.
Okowa said: "We use this opportunity to thank our sons and daughters in the private sector who have thought it necessary to deep their hands in their pockets to provide food items for the less-privileged in the society at this point in time that hunger tends to abound in the country.
"There is no doubt that the sudden emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected a lot of businesses, particularly the small and medium scale businesses. Needless to stress that a lot of families are struggling to put food on their tables.
"My administration would continue to take steps that would alleviate the plights of residents of the state. And, I urge the committee set up to distribute the food items at the local government levels to ensure that the items get to the downtrodden across the state."
However, the governor warned against party or political considerations in the distribution of the foodstuff, stressing that the items should go to genuine residents of the state who are really less-privileged.
The 270 wards in the state would be the focal point for the distribution of the food items to the people, he added.
While restating that "COVID-19 is not a death sentence," Okowa emphasized that those with the virus-related symptoms should not hesitate to go for proper testing at the numerous centres across the state so as to ascertain their status before commencing treatment.
Earlier, the representative of CACOVID in the state, Mr. Lucky Ighade, said the donation was part of measures to assist states and the federal government in handling the challenges of hunger and starvation among poor families across the country occasioned by COVID-19.