The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has declared Kogi State high risk for refusing to acknowledge the existence of the disease, not reporting testing, not having isolation centers, warning Nigerians to be weary of visiting the state.
The PTF said that having analyzed the pandemic in the country, 22 22 high burdened local government areas within 13 states in the country, have been identified.
National Incident Manager (NIM) of the PTF COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, said this Monday at the media briefing.
Muhammad said, “In addition to these, we have states where data is not coming forth. If we don’t test, your data will not be analyzed and if your data is not analyzed we won’t know the level of the pandemic in your state.
“Notable among the states that have not been reporting adequately include Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi and of course Kogi that has not been reporting at all.
“States that are not testing are probably at much more higher risk than the states that are currently known as high burdened states.
He added, “A state that is not testing at all is an absolute high risk for Nigerians to go there because, there is no testing facility and even if you fall sick, there is no isolation center and they don’t even acknowledge that the disease exist. So for that reason, we put that state at the top of high risk state.”
According to him, the 22 high burdened local government areas within 13 states in the country, mostly in the cities of the state capitals contributed over 95 percent of the new cases recorded in the last six weeks.
Furthermore, he listed the states and local governments to include Nkanu West (Enugu); Abuja Municipal (FCT), Gwagwalada FCT, Gombe (Gombe), Chikun (Kaduna), Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Nassarawa (Kano), Katsina (Katsina), Ilorin South (Kwara), Ilorin West, (Kwara), Eti-Osa (Lagos), Ikeja (Lagos), Kosofe (Lagos), Lagos Mainland, Lagos), Keffi (Nasarawa), (Lafia), Nasarawa, Ibadan North (Oyo), Jos North (Plateau), Jos South (Plateau), Port-Harcourt (Rivers) and Wamako (Sokoto),
He further stated, the PTF was working currently to provide support to various states through their task forces towards contextualizing and implementing the regulation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Continuing, “As mentioned earlier, the regulation covers places of worship, public transport, banks, workplaces, sports and so on and so forth.
Notable features of the regulations include: Restrictions on Gatherings, mandatory wearing face masks in public and above all the powers of prosecution by law enforcement agencies”.
Furthermore, “We expect governments, institutions, owners of private buildings and other regulators to enforce these regulations. For example, putting a notice of no mask no entry or no mask no service, to enlightened the users of your services.
Pertinent strategies will be adopted and they will include mobile court on strategic locations such as markers, motor parks and it is expected that every law enforcement agencies will monitor complaints or their staff within which they supervise”.
“We are providing advisory to the states to develop community engagement strategy and risk communication strategies to sensitize the public on compliance to these regulations and to promote behavioural changes”.
“Last week we started with the FCT, where we had a very fruitful meeting with the Minister and the stakeholders of the FCT. We are currently developing the implementation plan and the timeline for which the FCT Taskforce will commence operations all over the FCT”. Mohammed said.