Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that his administration is taking proactive steps in line with the federal government policy in the fight against corona virus pandemic that ravages countries of the world.
Governor AbdulRazq, in a speech made available to the press on Sunday 22nd March 2020, through his media aides said that though there are no reported cases of COVID 19 in the state, it is necessary to prepare ahead to avoid being caught unawares.
The Governor reassured Kwarans that the welfare of the people is paramount to his administration which is his reason for taking steps in enhancing social distancing by the closure of relevant institutions and agencies of government as well as in the private sector.
In his statement he said: “Given the aforementioned and the global health emergency situation, our administration has taken the following difficult but important decisions to protect Kwarans:
Closure of all public and private nurseries, primary, secondary and state-owned Tertiary institutions, Aside from Ministry of health and essential workers, all civil servants are to work from home until further notice. All gatherings of more than 25 people are hereby discouraged until further notice.”
“The welfare, security and well-being of all Kwarans are of utmost importance to our administration and, as such, we have embarked on a robust healthcare transformation agenda to give every Kwaran access to better quality and affordable healthcare.”
AbdulRazaq reiterated that the world is faced with a viral pandemic caused by Corona virus Disease 2019, code named COVID-19, a new strain of virus that infect humans, first detected in China and has now spreading around the world, including Nigeria.
He reaffirmed that: “Currently, we have no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kwara State. However, as a proactive government, and consistent with our determination to upgrade healthcare infrastructure in Kwara state, I have since approved funding for the construction of an isolation centre at the onset of our administration. Now, the number of cases in Nigeria is increasing, there are a total of 27 confirmed cases. The federal government of Nigeria is leading the fight against corona virus by taking bold and decisive decisions that will save lives. In Kwara State, we are following the lead of the Federal government by mobilizing all resources available to us to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kwara.”
He reminded Kwarans on basic preventive measures to be put in place by individuals and communities as the most powerful tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 adding that “As individuals, we are all responsible for the general well-being of fellow Kwarans and should work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by: 1) washing our hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as much as possible daily; 2) avoiding touching our eyes, mouths, and noses; 3) covering our mouths and noses with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze; 4) staying more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick and coughing, and wearing a mask if you are ill (especially if coughing) or looking after someone who is ill and coughing; 5) abstaining from handshaking until the threat of this COVID-19 is zero; and 6) avoiding crowded area and minimizing any gathering to a maximum of 25.”
“As a community, we must do everything possible to prevent any transmission of COVID-19 by embracing the concept of social distancing and self-isolation. These measures are to prevent anyone that may be infected with COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others. An exponential spread of COVID-19 in our community might be catastrophic because we could have thousands of our citizens sick at the same time.”
Governor AbdulRazaq therefore encouraged all Kwarans to get involved in the fight against COVID-19 stating his believe that the people will achieve desired results only if and when they are properly sensitized on how to protect the communities from the virus.
He said: “We are determined to continue to make the necessary investments in healthcare to safeguard the lives of our people. A 20-bed high-quality isolation centre has been completed and equipped at Sobi Specialist Hospital and plans are underway to build additional and well-equipped 12-bed intensive care unit at the General Hospital, Ilorin.”
He also announced a technical committee on COVID 19 comprising health professionals and to be headed by the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi.
“We have put in place a “COVID-19 Technical Committee” comprising healthcare professionals and officials whose primary responsibility is to assist our administration in combating COVID-19 in Kwara State. This committee is headed by the Deputy Governor.”
He also informed of the emergency telephone lines already given by the Ministry of Health through which the people can receive regular briefings and bulletins from government on the development.
He finally reassured all Kwarans of the determination of his administration to prevent, contain, and limit the impact of the pandemic on the people.