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Nigerian Governors approve further 2-weeks lockdown extension to fight COVID-19

Nigerians will have to endure further lockdown extension as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at its meeting in Abuja, unanimously agreed to the implementation of an inter-State lockdown throughout the country for the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus from State to State.

Only inter-State essential services would be permitted within the two weeks period.

NGF Chairman, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this in a communique at the end of the meeting, said the Governors expressed serious concern over the rising spread of the virus in the country.

Fayemi said that the Governors noted that the virus has spread to 25 states and blamed it on community transmission, stating that the COVID-19 committees would be set up at the regional level to be headed by their State Commissioners of Health.

“Regional committees will continue to interface with the State Task Force Committees on COVID-19 already established in each state,” the statement added.

This, it said, would help to strengthen coordinated implementation of necessary public health recommendations across States.

The Ekiti State Governor added that the forum expressed worry over the rising spread of the virus among health workers “and resolved to work with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure that health workers are adequately provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and are constantly trained on the use of protective gears.”

The Governors also called for the decentralization of the COVID-19 response as the best chance of nipping the spread of the virus in communities.

Governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo and Ogun State were at the meeting to share their experiences and lessons from the fight against COVID-19.

The meeting was briefed on the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and coordination efforts with the Federal government, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

A minute silence was observed in honour of all Nigerians who have lost their lives from Coronavirus, especially health workers who were in the front lines of the epidemic.

Message of condolence was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari and the people of Borno State on the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, while the Governors rejoiced with Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for his recovery after nearly four weeks of testing positive for the disease.

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