ALHAJI (DR.) ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO, GOVERNOR OF NIGER STATE AND CHAIRMAN NORTH CENTRAL GOVERNOR’S FORUM ON THE OUTBREAK OF CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) IN NIGERIA AND LELVEL OF PREPAREDNESS AND PREVENTION IN NIGER STATE; ON MONDAY 23RD MARCH, 2020.
To my fellow Nigerlites:
The scourge of coronavirus (COVID-19) is real and with the confirmed cases in Abuja just a stone throw away from us, calls for more proactive measures and preparedness for any eventualities. Hence, I need to address you today. The Covid-19 Virus with symptoms ranging from fever, tiredness, and dry cough to aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea does not manifest immediately rather these symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
Already states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja have recorded cases. I wish to reassure the general public that there has not been any suspected or confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State. But as proactive government, the State has resolved to create mass awareness and respond promptly to any case of the outbreak. In this regard we have put in place the following strategies.
We have strengthened the surveillance system to detect any case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) including investigation and monitoring of any outbreak. The Public Health Emergency Operation Centre is at watch mode and enhanced surveillance is already in place.
We have reactivated our Isolation Centre at General Hospital, Minna and isolation rooms in all our General Hospitals across the state.
We have prepositioned drugs, medical supplies and personal protection equipment at the Isolation Centre in Minna.
Sensitization of our clinicians on epidemic prone diseases is ongoing. Treatment protocols are also being circulated.
Niger state Government is collaborating with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) on effective means of sharing information on how to prevent infection and mitigate in case of an outbreak in the state.
We have commenced risk communication through the media. Niger State Government will enforce all preventive measures as advised by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), especially social distancing and hand washing routines. I hereby direct further that, all public and private schools and institutions in Niger State to remain closed down from today, Monday 23rd March, 2020. All public gatherings of more than 20 persons are prohibited from today 23rd/March/2020. All public offices including Ministries, Departments and Agencies must provide hand washing items at the entrance of their facilities. Meanwhile, all civil servants on grade level 1-12 are to stay at home, except those on essential services. The general public including market men and women must practice social distancing and hand washing with soap regularly.
The traditional leaders should ensure all almajiri schools in their communities are closed down. All forms of street hawking and begging are by this directive banned.
As from Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, the state shall observe daily curfew from 8:00am to 8:00pm till further notice.
Finally, I strongly advise the general public to be vigilant, adhere strictly to personal hygiene, social distancing and seek medical attention in the event of symptoms. We also call on individuals with travel history from countries and states with cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure self-isolation and report to the nearest Health facility in the state.
While asking people to adhere strictly to public health guidelines, I pray to God to bring an end to the scourge of coronavirus ravaging humanity, soon. Thank you all.