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COVID-19: Kogi Shutdown, Bans Social, Religious Gatherings, Schools Closed.



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Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.

Kogi state government has banned all forms of social or religious gatherings, following the seriousness the pandemic Coronavirus spread has taken leading to lost of thousands of lives across the globe.

Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement sent to the Press on Monday said the state government in its determination to save lives has banned gatherings in churches, Mosques, Clubs, beer joints, weddings or burials ceremonies with immediate effect.

The action followed the recommendations by the “COVID-19 Squadron” a high powered committee set up by the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to curb and contain the spread of the Coronavirus in the state.

The 29 member committee chaired by the Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja, is to coordinate government’s efforts at containing the spread of the scourge. Other members includes the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, some Commissioners and relevant stakeholders within and outside government.

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According to the Commissioner, though no Coronavirus case has been confirmed in Kogi state, the committee agreed that the pandemic is more serious than earlier thought, hence the need to deal with it with all seriousness and commitment it deserves.

He disclosed that the FAREC Clinic in Lokoja will serve as Containment/Isolation Center for the State and the committee has also resolved to trace and track people who just returned to the state from affected countries with a view to detecting their status, while laboratories in the State are to be upgraded to be able to test for Coronavirus.

The committee also resolved that vehicles traversing the state will not be allowed to stop over, except it is established that some of their passengers will be alighting within the state just as they will also be allowed to buy fuel in the State.


The committee will be sensitizing the people to stay at home as much as possible, while market places with large crowds will also be shut down.

On hygiene, the committee recommended that henceforth, hotels, restaurants and other offices will be made to provide water, soap and sanitizers for their customers to wash their hands.

To reduce contacts and stop people from leaving their homes indiscriminately, the Committee mooted the idea of banning Okada Transport in order to reduce contact and also stop people from leaving their homes indiscriminately, but it is still under consideration inview of certain commitments and emergencies.

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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.

To ensure compliance, the Committee resolved to enlist security agencies to enforce the directives of Government which are aimed at ensuring the pandemic is contained properly, fake reports on the spread of the virus will be decisively dealt with in order to save the people from unnecessary panic.

The people are therefore 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.

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Zulum launches 71 ambulances, drugs for Borno’s ‘pilot health centres’



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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State on Wednesday flagged off the distribution 71 ambulances and drugs worth 80 million naira to 71 health centres identified for a pilot programme that aim to increase access to public medical services.

Launching the distribution at the State’s medical store in Maiduguri, Zulum noted that a many women were having difficulties in getting access to drugs and healthcare facilities during delivery.

“This administration is determined to provide free drugs to the less privileged women in our society.

The Governor said his administration will ensure quality healthcare service delivery, particularly to the less privileged in the society.

“Quality healthcare delivery is one of the objectives of this administration, it contained in our ten pact agenda. I have made a promise during electioneering campaign that we shall make free maternal drugs available to the less privileged.” Zulum said.

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He added “It is our duty to reduce maternal mortality rate in the State. There are thousands of women visiting hospitals for antenatal services but cannot afford to buy the delivery kit. To address this, I have directed as from today, free maternal drugs should be provided to all our antenatal patients in about 71 pilot health centres in different locations of the State.”

The Governor said the Hospital Management Board shall forward to his office detailed sustainability plans, and ensure that the scheme is captured in 2021 budget.

“I am worried of the sustainability of this program, therefore, the Hospital Management Board should roll out a template on how we can sustain this program, and forward it to my office.”

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“You should also ensure that this scheme is captured in our 2021 budget, a provision of not less than one billion naira should be made. This is what i want to see happening in my lifetime as a Governor of Borno State.”

“I have recently approved the recruitment of over 500 health personnel. You should ensure that every health facility gets nothing less than two doctors. The major facilities should have at least four doctors.” Zulum said.

He however warned that the facilities distributed should be handled appropriately by the management of various health centres.

“These ambulances has to be maintained well. The PMO shall be held responsible for any maladministration of the ambulances.” Zulum warned.

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Responding, the Commissioner of health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura explained that about 71 health facilities will benefit from the scheme, each will get hundreds of cartons of hospital consumables and equipments.

Acording to the Commissioner, 16 Hiace ambulances, and 33 tricycle ambulances were also distributed to the health centers to ease transportation, so also strengthen referrals.

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Kogi State Government To Engaged More 700 Health Professionals To Sustain Its Health Coverage In The State



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Kogi state Government has expressed its readiness to recruit additional seven hundred health professionals to help to sustain its health coverage in the state .

Commissioner of health , Doctor Saka Audu made the disclosure while flagging off of ‘Nursing Now Campaign in Lokoja,the state capital.

He also announced the establishment of committee tagged “inter professionals Association committee ‘to resolve disputes among various Heath bodies in the state.

Doctor Saka noted that the crisis rocking health bodies if not amiably settled would affect Government’s effort to deliver effective and efficient health services to the populace .

He described the nursing profession as unique and Noble as their services to humanity cannot be equantify

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Doctor Saka said Government was working out modalities to resolve the disputes that led to the close down of the Federal medical center Lokoja.

In a message on the occasion, the Speaker of kogi State House of assembly, Right honourable Mathew Kolawole assured that the house would collaborate with the ministry by making law that will help to weed out quack practitioners in the state.

The speaker who was represented by the Chairman house committee on health and member representing Lokoja one constituency, Alhaji Isah Tenimu commended nursing for their efforts to safe lives of the citizens.

In a keynote address, the state Director of Nursing Mrs Martina Oguche said this year celebration is focusing on five critical areas which are, ensuring nurses and midwives have prominent voice in health policy making, recruiting more nurses into leadership positions, conducting research that help determine where Nurses can have the greatest impact.

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Various Goodwill messages came from the state head of civil service Mrs Deborah Ogunmola,The executive Chairman of primary healthcare agency, Doctor Abubakir Yakubu, and Acting Director of Nursing services, hospitals management board, Mrs, MB Olorunnyomi among others.

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Nigeria Senate Kick Against Foreign Methods Of Fighting COVID-19, Rejects N75,000 Test Fee For Int’l Flight



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The Senate has cautioned relevant stakeholders in the health sector against killing the nation’s economy by adopting foreign methods of fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate’s admonition against imported measures of fighting COVID-19 came from the co-chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Health and Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West), during an interactive session with stakeholders in the Aviation and Health sectors on safety measures put in place in the wake of the resumption of international and domestic flights in the country.

Senator Adeyemi, who chairs the Senate Aviation Committee, said although based on realities on ground, COVID-19 was real but not potent in Nigeria and many other African countries.

Sen Smart Adeyemi, APC, Kogi West.

According to him, based on that reality, it was wrong for relevant authorities in the country to be swallowing hook, line and sinker, measures being adopted to fight the disease in Europe, Americas, China and other advanced countries of the world.”There is something in us as Africans that is not in them in Europe and America, which made COVID-19 not to be disastrous here as it was there.

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“In the light of this, measures that are detrimental to the livelihood and well-being of Nigerians should be avoided, so as not to kill the nation’s economy.

“People are not finding things easy outside there as a result of the way and manner COVID-19 pandemic is being fought in the country and as representatives of the people, feelers reaching us indicate revolt against government in December if drastic actions are not taken between now and then to make things easier” Adeyemi warned.
For his part, chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), specifically faulted the policy adopted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which allows only private laboratories to carry out tests on intending travelers abroad at the cost of N75,000.

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The measure according to him, is detrimental to average Nigerians who are being forced to cough out N75,000 for the test, which he described as unacceptable.

“The amount is too high, it should be brought down and public health Institutions laboratories should be equipped to carry out the tests”, Oloriegbe said.

Also, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), took up both the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who were both present, on the usefulness or otherwise of facemasks in Nigeria against the backdrop that some don’t comply with the directive and are free from COVID-19.


She said based on what she saw in many communities in Ekiti State last week, residents have jettisoned its usage of facemasks.
Responding, Dr. Aliyu said the three reasons of standard of living, demography and aggressive nature of African countries were identified to defy coronavirus.

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