The hope of a possible ease of movement of the month-long lockdown of some states was dashed yesterday as the state governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have endorsed inter-state lockdown for two weeks as part of efforts to curb the COVID-19 cases spike nationwide.
The NGF Chairman and Ekiti Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, announced this in a communiqué issued after the 6th COVID-19 teleconference of the governors.
“The decision was taken after governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo, and Ogun states briefed the NGF on their experiences to curb COVID-19.
“Governors unanimously agreed on the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state. Only essential services will be permitted,’’ he said.
Persecondnews recalls that the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, had on Monday raised the alarm that inter-state movements were responsible for COVID-19 escalation.
He said people were being moved in trucks from Lagos to other parts of the country.
Fayemi said members expressed serious concerns over the rising spread of the coronavirus among health workers.
He added that the NGF resolved to work with the NCDC to ensure that health workers were adequately provided with personal protective equipment.
According to him, the governors resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level, headed by their state commissioners of health.
He also said regional committees would continue to interface with the task force on COVID-19 already established in each state.
Fayemi stated, “The NGF chairman briefed the forum on the rapidly 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.
“With over 25 states now affected by the spread of the virus and increasing evidence of community transmission, state governors called for the decentralisation of the COVID-19 response as the best chance of nipping the spread of the virus in communities.
“The forum also received briefing from the governors of Lagos, Bauchi, Oyo and Ogun states who shared their experiences and lessons from the fight against COVID-19. Governors unanimously agreed on the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state. Only essential services will be permitted.”
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari had on March 29 imposed two weeks lockdown on the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states. Upon the expiration of the lockdown, the President extended it for another two weeks.