Ekiti, Ogun, Katsina, Rivers and Gombe states have moved to stop the spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, by taking proactive measures to keep residents safe from the deadly disease.
While Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi on Monday announced he had set up a 40-man task force to keep residents safe from the disease, the Ogun State Government unveiled a mobile application to enhance information dissemination among health workers.
The Katsina State Government inaugurated an Emergency Operation Centre and began the training of health workers as it braced for the likelihood that coronavirus would spread to the state. The Gombe State Government said it had provided Personal Protective Equipment for use at the Gombe International Airport.
Addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti, Fayemi urged residents not to panic about contracting coronavirus.
He said, “The activation of our facilities and infrastructure to manage the infection has got into top gear. This requires the active engagement of every stakeholder and resident of our dear state.”
The governor added the state government had designated an isolation centre for coronavirus threat and would provide Personal Protective Equipment for the officials.
He said, “Measures will be put in place to screen inward bound passengers from heavy inflow areas, first at motor parks of departure and at border towns.”
Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, said the mobile application christened ‘CommCare’ would help health workers in Primary Health Centres to do risk assessments, noting that the application had been rolled out at Ewekoro Local Government Area to enhance the performances of health workers.
He said, “Since the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed we have launched the mobile application to help disseminate information to the local government areas and Primary Health Centres.”
The Executive Secretary, Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Elijah Ogunsola, commended the state government for the initiative.
The Katsina State Commissioner for Health, Yakubu Danja, said, “The state government is aware of the outbreak of coronavirus globally and the recently confirmed case in Lagos.
“In view of this, the state Ministry of Health and the relevant stakeholders are well- positioned to ensure that people are adequately sensitised to the disease and to ensure that steps are taken to prevent its spread in the state.
“We activated the Emergency Operation Centre due to Lassa fever outbreak. We are leveraging the same platform to ensure that we ready for any eventuality.”
In a statement, the Gombe State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ahmed Gana, said, “The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, has placed the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre in a state of heightened situation awareness and intelligence gathering. Personal Protective Equipment have been procured and placed at Gombe International Airport, among other places. Also, an isolation unit for airborne diseases has been designated while Health Care Workers are being trained to cope with the disease.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government called for support for the fight to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, made the call at a multi-sectoral meeting with the Ministry of Health on Monday in Port Harcourt.
Nsirim said the media must understand its social responsibility to society in terms of providing information to ensure safe health.
He said the meeting was convened to set up an inter-ministerial committee to begin to strengthen the enlightenment that the Ministry of Health was already doing.
The commissioner said, “We can’t afford, as a state, to record any (coronavirus) incident.”
Nsirim, who said Governor Nyesom Wike was committed to the fight, recalled the state stood out during the fight against Ebola.
He said, “When we had Ebola crisis in the country, the response that was set up by Rivers State was commended by many people. As a state, we need to show our people in the state that we understand what is going on, and then give them the right information.”
The commissioner, however, told media houses to “create strategic time and space to give information on coronavirus.”