COVID-19: Seven in self-isolation in Kogi; Clerk orders total shutdown of NASS Complex; Akeredolu, Fayemi, Ganduje, Ugwuanyi, Umahi announce measures to check spread; Niger Govt earmarks N100m to battle virus


The Kogi State Ministry of Health said that seven persons are now on a compulsory 14-day self-isolation in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, who disclosed this on Tuesday in Lokoja, said that the persons had been put under strict monitoring by the ministry.
Audu, who posted this on his Facebook page, said that the affected persons had visited COVID-19 high risk countries in the last one month.
According to Audu, five of them are in isolation in Lokoja, while the remaining two are in Okene and Ajaokuta.
He enjoined anyone, who just returned from any of high risk countries, to contact the ministry for necessary action in order to prevent the escalation of the virus.
The management of the National Assembly has ordered a total shutdown of the complex as a measure to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Ataba Sani-Omolori, issued the directive in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
Sani-Omokoro said that the decision was taken in conjunction with the leadership of the Senate and the House of the Representatives.
“Following growing concerns over the rising incidence of COVID -19 in the country, the leadership of both houses and the management of the National Assembly have directed all staff including legislative aides to remain at home for the next two weeks.
“Legislators and staff of the assembly are encouraged to adhere to the professional advice from the Minister of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control.
“Only clerks of both chambers, Directors and Heads of departments are expected to show up at work in the National Assembly,” he said.
The directive also made it clear that all banks and other businesses within the complex are expected to be closed for the period.
Forty-four has so far been reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus in the country.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has ordered the immediate closure of all markets, malls and shops in the state for seven days, as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The state government had closed all schools and banned political, social and religious gatherings for 14 days.
Mr Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, in a statement on Tuesday in Akure, said only life-saving and sustaining items would be allowed.
Ojogo said gatherings at clubs beer parlours and joints were also prohibited until further notice.
He explained that the decision was taken at the state executive council meeting on March 23, to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
“Under this fresh directive, which is for a period of seven days in the first instance, only the sale of life-saving and sustaining items like food, water and medicals shall be allowed,” he said.
The commissioner explained that the governor also directed the immediate cancellation of all official engagements of the government.
“This directive includes courtesy calls and other engagements already approved and scheduled prior to this time; and shall suffice for a period of 14 days in the first instance.
“Similarly, Akeredolu reiterates that the suspension of political gatherings and meetings is still in force.
“In this regard, any form of open campaign for the forthcoming local government elections in the state should be discontinued for the meantime.
“The governor seeks the co-operation and understanding of all residents in the state as he works assiduously to keep the state safe from COVID-19,” he said.
Governor Kayode Fayemi has banned the use of public and private primary and secondary school premises for social and religious activities until further notice.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state, Mr Foluso Daramola, announced the ban in a statement in Ekiti on Tuesday.
Government explained that the ban, which takes immediate effect, was part of the efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the state.
The commissioner warned that sanctions would be metted out to administrators and proprietors of any schools that violated the directive.
He further stated that a government task force was already in place to enforce the ban.
The Niger State Government, on Tuesday, said it had set aside N100 million to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic and prevent it from spreading to the state.
Dr Mohammed Sidi, the Commissioner for Health, made this known during a press briefing in Minna.
“The Niger state government has set aside N100 million to tackle any issue relating to COVID-19, including preventing the pandemic from spreading to the state,” he said.
Although Sidi said that there was no confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state, he, however, added that there were seven suspected cases and that they had been placed on a 14-day quarantine.
He explained that out of the six cases in Minna, five had contact with a confirmed case, while the other one came in from the United Kingdom.
The commissioner said that the remaining one case in Suleja had contact with a suspected case.
He urged the people of the state to maintain the social distancing of one metre (three feet) when there were more than one person in a place.
Sidi also stressed the need to adhere strictly to the rules of personal and public hygiene in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
He said that government had strengthened its surveillance system to detect any case of COVID-19, including investigation and monitoring of any outbreak.
“The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre is in watch mode and an enhanced surveillance is already in place,” the commissioner said.
He also said that government had reactivated the state isolation centre in the General Hospital, Minna and the isolation rooms in all the general hospitals across the state.
“We have prepositioned drugs, medical supplies and personal protection equipment at the isolation facility in Minna,” the commissioner said.
Sidi enjoined the public not to stigmatise any suspected or confirmed case, as government was on top of the situation.
He said that owing to the proximity of the state to the Federal Capital Territory, government was collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on how to cater for commuters and vehicles as regards the pandemic.
Kano State Government has ordered civil servants to stay off office for 14 days from Wednesday, March 24 to prevent spread of coronavirus in the state.
Muhammad Garba, the Commissioner for Information, stated this in a statement on Tuesday in Kano.
Garba disclosed that the order was part of the resolution of a special State Executive Council (SEC) meeting held at Africa House, Government House, Kano. 
He said that the measure was to ensure prevention and curtail spread of the Coronavirus pandemic through contact at work places.
Garba added that the state government had also banned influx of full capacity buses into the state from Wednesday March 25.
 He added that: “This is in consideration of the risk involved in the mode of operations of buses that involves stuffing of passengers and the unorderly sitting arrangements.
“The state government is working tirelessly to ensure the virus do not find its way to the state and if it does, government is prepared to control and manage it .
“The government, however, urged residents to ensure adherence to health instructions released by the Federal and State Ministries of Health on prevention measures against the disease as well as ensure personal hygiene”.
The state government had earlier ordered closure of schools and set up a Task Force committee to enhance prevention and rapid response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has suspended all social gatherings including marriage and burial ceremonies till further notice as a measure to contain possible spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state.
Ugwuanyi made the announcement on Tuesday while addressing newsmen on measures put in place by his administration to contain the scourge.
He instructed religious organisations to observe social distancing protocol during worships as advised by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The governor also directed closure of all educational institutions and instructed public and civil servants in the state to work from home until further notice.
He, however, said that workers on essential duties would continue to render their services.
Such workers include health workers, forest guards, water corporation staff, waste management operators and staff of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency
The rest are neighborhood watch personnel and fire fighters.
Ugwuanyi also suspended masquerade festivals, drinking bars, night clubs and all group sporting and recreational activities.
“The social distancing protocol as by NCDC should be observed during public religious worships as well as in restaurants and eatries.
“Public transporters are to observe the following on passenger conveyance at each instance: tricycles should not carry more than two passengers.
“Commuter buses should not carry more than two passengers per seat while city cabs should not carry more than two passengers,” he said.
The governor directed all local government chairmen to mobilise their environmental and community health workers to continue to sensitise residents of the state on the best way to be free from COVID-19.
Ugwuanyi advised residents of the state to make adequate provision for their basic needs and for all public institutions to maintain the best possible hygiene.
He directed law enforcement agencies to ensure strict compliance to all the directives.
Ugwuanyi commended health workers in the state for their efforts to contain the scourge and appealed to residents of the state to make the necessary sacrifices to protect their future.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has confirmed that states in the South-East zone were yet to record any confirmed case of the dreaded Coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Umahi, who is the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, stated this at a press briefing on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
He said that the Ebonyi State Government had put in a number of measures aimed at ensuring that the virus was contained and prevented from entering the state.
The governor added that before the first record of COVID-19 in Nigeria that the Ebonyi Government had built two quarantine centres in Abakaliki and at the border between Enugu and Ebonyi State, in Ishielu Local Government Area.
He said that the state-of-the-art Virology Centre in Abakaliki, built in 2016, which was donated to Federal Government for lassa fever, would be vital for testing for the Coronavirus with the necessary testing kits.
“For now, there is no confirmed report of COVID-19 case in Ebonyi and any state of the South-East.
“However, our government has put in place a number of measures to protect the people.
“These include shutting down of schools, night clubs, ban on sporting activities, wedding receptions, burial ceremonies and any social gathering with more than 50 persons.
“We have not shut down religious and worship centres, because we have not had any confirmed report of the virus in any part of the South-East.
“From March 25, it shall be an offence for gathering of persons other than essential service centres, including markets, rice meals, religious centres, banks and hotels.
“These service centres must ensure the provision of face masks, running water, hand sanitizers and must ensure that people entering and coming out wash their hands to protect them.
“Churches and religious centres must observe all health precautions to protect their members and the general public,” Umahi said.
The governor assured the people that government would explore every necessary avenue to ensure protection of the people against the virus.
He said that the state would henceforth record all passengers entering the state from Lagos, Edo and all the South-West states to assist the medical team to monitor and evaluate their health status.
The governor, who urged residents of the state to imbibe best personal health hygiene, said that government would procure hand sanitizers and other disinfectants for distribution to those in the hinterlands.
He noted that government had deployed health workers and other public office holders to the grassroots to sensitize the people on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umahi said that the government had established COVID -19 team to be coordinated by  himself as chairman.


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