Gentlemen of the Press,
This statement is in furtherance of our commitment to keep you posted on the Kogi State Government efforts at curbing and containing the Coronavirus pandemic in the State.
As you are aware, the Covid 19 Squadron, put in place to coordinate Government’s efforts against the virus was inaugurated today. It is a 29-man Committee led by the Deputy Governor of the State, His Excellency Chief Edward Onoja.
The High-Powered Committee also includes the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, some Commissioners and other relevant stakeholders both within and outside the Government.
The Committee went into action immediately after inauguration to draw a roadmap for the battle against the deadly virus.
The following are some of the far-reaching decisions and resolutions of Committee:
1. The Committee agreed that the pandemic is more serious than earlier thought; hence the need to deal with it with all the seriousness and commitment it deserves.
2. The Committee established the fact that there is no confirmed case of Coronavirus yet in the State.
3. The Committee resolved to ban all forms of social or religious gatherings. There will be no more gatherings in churches, Mosques, Clubs , beer joints, weddings or burials. The ban is with immediate effect.
4. It was agreed that the FAREC Clinic in Lokoja will serve as Containment/Isolation Center for the State.
5. The Committee resolved to trace and track people who just returned to the State from affected countries with a view to detecting their status.
6. Laboratories in the State are to be upgraded to be able to test for Coronavirus.
7. Henceforth, vehicles traversing the State will not be be allowed to stop over in the state, except it is established that some of their passengers will be alighting within the State. They will also be allowed to buy fuel in the State.
8. Efforts will be geared towards sensitizing the people to stay at home as much as possible. Market places with large crowds will also be shut down.
9. Henceforth, hotels, restaurants and other offices will be made to provide water, soap and sanitizers for their customers to wash their hands.
10. The Committee also mooted the idea of banning Okada Transport in order to reduce contact and also stop people from leaving their homes indiscriminately. No final decision has been taken on that.
11. Senior Special Assistants to the Governor on Security as well as the Directors of Local Government Areas are to coordinate grassroots sensitization as efforts are on at deploying Town Criers to carry the message of the Committee to the grassroots.
12. The Committee resolved to enlist security agencies to enforce the directives of Government which are aimed at ensuring the pandemic is contained properly.
13. Fake reports on the spread of the virus will be decisively dealt with in order to save the people from unnecessary panic.
14. Kogites are advised to stay at home in order to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Personal hygiene should also be taken serious. People suspected to be showing symptoms of Covid 19 should be reported to the Committee for immediate help.
Signed: Kingsley Fanwo
Hon.Commissioner for Information and Communication
On behalf of the Committee.