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Covid-19: Nasarawa confirms five suspected cases

By Abel Abogonye, Lafia, Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia and Matthew Ogune, Abuja
21 March 2020   |   4:02 am
The Nasarawa state ministry of health has confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in the state. Briefing journalists yesterday, state commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya...

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The Nasarawa state ministry of health has confirmed five new cases of coronavirus in the state. Briefing journalists yesterday, state commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya said that a man who came from Lagos was sneezing, coughing and had high temperature and was reported. The commissioner said that his condition was stable and samples of their blood have been taken to the National disease control Center, Abuja for tests. Yahaya called on citizens not to panic but imbibe procedure for avoiding the virus.

Also, Abia state has urged the federal government to provide confirmation testing facilities in all the states of the federation and FCT or at least one per geopolitical zone for easy access. State Information Commissioner, Chief John Okiyi Kalu who disclosed this while speaking on the virus, said that though the state has no case yet, it has taken a number of proactive measures to prevent it.

He said that the committee that was set up has since started identifying available intervention resources within the state, including two isolation centers at Umuahia Federal Medical Center (FMC) and Amachara Specialist Hospital, describing the facilities there as purpose-equipped for isolation of patients with such infectious diseases.

Adding that while one isolation center has been readied at Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba, with another to serve Abia North being set up and over 10,000 face masks and 1,000 digital thermometers were being distributed by the state Ministry of Health to health institutions

According to him, aggressive sensitization campaigns in both English and local languages are ongoing including use of town-criers in addition to activation of the Abia State Tele-Health facility to respond to enquiries as well as coordinate with all the primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities. He added that the state would shut down any private and public premises where the prescribed measures are not in place to protect the people, residents and visitors to Abia State, disclosing that the committee is currently reviewing suggestions on banning public gatherings of more than 50 persons and measures to further protect the people.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has constituted a sub-committee that will review the trend of the COVID-l9 pandemic and advice state governments on the set of actions required to address challenges in economy.

Chairman of the forum and Ekiti state Governor, Kayode Fayemi who disclosed this after a meeting in Abuja added that members of the committee are the Governors of Kaduna (Chairman), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo and Jigawa. According to Fayemi, the decision became imperative following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigerian economy and the revenues of states governments. He disclosed that they’ll work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in every state.

He further disclosed that the forum also received a presentation on fostering values-based leadership from the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa led by its Chairperson, Amina Oyagbola and members resolved to engage with the institute through its Secretariat.