COVID-19: Nigeria Governors’ Forum approves a 14-day nationwide lockdown

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COVID-19: Nigeria Governors approve 14 days nationwide lockdown

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Governors of the 36 States of the federation on Wednesday “unanimously” agreed to the implementation of an inter-State lockdown in the Country for the next 14 days as part of concerted efforts to curb the spread of the novel COVID-19 from State to State.

The umbrella body, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), took the decision after receiving briefing from the Governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo and Ogun States who shared their experiences and lessons from the fight against COVID-19.

A Communiqué issued by the NGF chairman and governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, at the end of the sixth COVID-19 teleconference meeting said only essential services would be permitted.

They called for the decentralisation of the COVID-19 response as the best way of nipping the spread of the virus in communities.

About 25 States have, so far, been affected by the spread of the virus and there has been an increasing evidence of community transmission.

Members of the NGF also voiced serious 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 were “adequately” provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and were “constantly” trained on the use of protective gears.

This followed an update from the NGF Secretariat on the number of COVID-19 cases in the Country.

Governors also resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level, headed by their State Commissioners of Health in order to strengthen coordinated implementation of necessary public health recommendations across States.

Regional Committees, the communique added, would continue to interface with the State Task Force Committees on COVID-19 already established in each State.

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).

The forum held a minute’s silence in honour of all Nigerians who had lost their lives from Coronavirus, especially health workers who were in the front lines of the epidemic.

The NGF also congratulated the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, 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.

Members also conveyed their condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Borno State on the passing of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, on April 17, 2020 due to COVID-19 infection.

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