Determined to assist Delta State to stay free of coronavirus cases and enhance the government’s readiness to manage possible incidence of COVID-19, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) and ND Western have donated critical medical equipment and materials to the state. The essential medical supplies donated by the independent oil and gas companies included high power suction machines, infusion pumps, syringe drivers, personal protective equipment (PPE), and nebulizer omron. Other vital medical materials that were delivered by SEPLAT, FHN and ND Western to the state government comprised temperature gun, hand sanitizers and examination gloves. Receiving the items at new General Hospital, Asaba, the Delta State capital, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, commended the oil companies for coming together to support the state at this crucial time. He said: “The governor of Delta State is very appreciative of this laudable gesture by these oil and gas companies. This donation is a clear proof that SEPLAT, FHN and ND Western, are credible and dependable partners of the government and people of this state and there is no doubt that the materials and equipment provided by them will boost our effort to put in place a robust response to the threat posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. “Though we do not have any Coronavirus case in the state, as a responsible and proactive government, His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who is a medical doctor himself, has put in place several measures to keep the infection away from the state, including stay-at-home order, social distancing, shutdown of schools, market and night clubs, ban of all social and religious gatherings, restriction of movement across the state borders, as well as designating and equipping facilities in Asaba, Warri and Oghara to increase our capacity to control and contain the outbreak.” While assuring the companies that the equipment and materials donated would be distributed and utilized judiciously, he called on other oil and gas companies operating in the state to emulate the gesture of the three companies. Even though coronavirus disease is yet to be re-corded in the state, the Commissioner for Health noted that government had continued to take precautionary measures to prevent the disease from entering the state. He added that the state government has set up four well equipped state-of-the-art isolation and test centres in Asaba, Warri, and Ogharra in a bid to show seriousness and preparedness of the government in case of any eventuality. READ ALSO: Covid-19: Muslim faithful ignore social distancing in Kano, Yola, Ughelli, observe Jum’at prayers Speaking at the event, the General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, Dr Chioma Nwachuku, who was represented by the Base Manager, Western Assets, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Emmanuel Otokhine, said the company made the donation to support the state government in raising its level of preparedness and in proactively dealing with the challenges of preventing and managing a global pandemic like COVID-19. “The NPDC/SEPLAT JV’s decision to support the government and people of Delta State is consisting with our wider corporate social responsibility strategy of consistently creating and distributing value to our stakeholders. We hope these essential medical supplies, particularly those that are in short supply at the moment because of the global upsurge in demand, will help to fill gaps that might otherwise have been left unfilled and go a long way to keep people that reside in Delta State safer. “We recognise that only a collective effort can defeat the threat of COVID-19 pandemic and have, therefore, chosen to stand by the government to enhance its ability to manage the challenge thrown up by Coronavirus. The action of our company and our partners becomes even more significant when you consider the fact that, as a new health challenge, no government in the country can boast of enough essential medical supplies to deal with the threat. The items we have donated will come in handy for medical personnel and ordinary patient and people in the state”, Otokhine stated. Speaking in the same vein, the representative of First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, Blessyn Okpowo said the management of his company is deeply impressed with the commitment and proactive measures taken by the Delta State government to prevent Coronavirus from entering the state, adding that as a company with operational base in the state, it has become necessary to support and partner with the government in order to fight the scourge of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state. Similarly, the representative of ND Western and the General Manager, Community Affairs and Security, Sheidu Aiguedo, said the donations would complement the efforts of the state government in the fight against Coronavirus. He said it’s obvious that the fight against this disease cannot be left in the hands of the government alone, hence the need to partner with the state.