Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has ordered immediate and total lockdown of Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area for two weeks following a suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the area.
Mr Bello, who gave the order on Monday while briefing journalists in Government House, Lokoja, said the lockdown, which was to commence from 12.00am on Tuesday, would enable verification and authenticity of the claims.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that claims by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that Abubakar Ejibunu, the Chief Imam of Kabba, had tested positive to the disease has continued to generate controversy between the Kogi government and the NCDC.
The governor said the government decided to be proactive over the verification as members of the family of the acclaimed victim, Mr Ejibunu, along with 13 other persons in Kabba-Bunu Local Government have already been tested for COVID-19 and their results returned negative.
He said, “We shall not relent in verifying the genuineness of the NCDC claim and we remain resolute in pursuing the matter to a logical conclusion.
“Government has already put necessary machinery in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic as prevention, they say, is better than cure.”
Mr Bello also directed the Incident Management Team of COVID-19 in the state, headed by the commissioner for Health, Saka Haruna Audu, to embark on immediate door-to-door visitation of residents of the council area for collation of samples for test.
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The governor also ordered a 14-day isolation of medical personnel and other persons at the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, who accompanied the accident victims to Abuja.
He further directed security agencies in the state to ensure complete enforcement of the lockdown in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area and ensure adherence to all the federal government and NCDC protocols.
The governor condemned in its entirety failure of the NCDC to involve Kogi State Government in its investigation processes before announcing two index cases of COVID-19 in the state, describing the action as “unhealthy and unprofessional.’’
“However, we still maintain that Kogi remains COVID-19 free at the moment, urging citizens of the state to continue to observe all the NCDC protocols in curtailing the spread of the dreaded disease,” Mr Bello said.