The members of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at a meeting held on Wednesday had agreed to implement inter-state lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Coronavirus has spread to 25 states in Nigeria and the FCT. As at 11:25 pm, 21st April, there are 782 confirmed cases of the virus reported in Nigeria with 25 fatalities.
The press statement released by the Forum which consists of the 36 states governors stated; “Governors unanimously agreed to the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state. Only essential services will be permitted.”
The statement also noted; “in order to strengthen coordinated implementation of necessary public health recommendations across states, governors resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level, headed by their state Commissioners of Health.
“Regional committees will continue to interface with the State Task Force Committees on COVID-19 already established in each state.
The forum also held a minute’s silence in honour of all Nigerians who have lost their lives from coronavirus, especially health workers who were in the front lines of the pandemic.
Members also conveyed their condolence to President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Borno State on the passing of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, who passed away on 17th April 2020 in the line of duty to the country.
“The NGF Chairman briefed the forum on the rapidly evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and coordination efforts with the Federal Government, multilateral and bilateral partners and the private sector through the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
With over 25 states now affected by the spread of the virus and increasing evidence of community transmission, state governors called for the decentralisation of the COVID-19 response as the best chance of nipping in the bud the spread of the virus in communities.
Following an update from the NGF Secretariat on the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, members expressed concern over the rising spread of the virus among health workers and resolved to work with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that health workers are adequately provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and are constantly traineod on the use of protective gears.
The forum also received briefing from the governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo and Ogun states who shared their experiences and lessons from the fight against COVID-19.
“Lastly, the forum congratulated the Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, who after nearly four weeks of testing positive and observing very strict medical regime, has now received two consecutive negative test results for the coronavirus,” the communiqué read.