*Minister of Health in Nigeria, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, is insisting that Federal Government must go back to Kogi, Cross River States for COVID-19 verification
Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus (COVID-19) has said the Federal Government would dispatch a technical teams the will visit Kogi and Cross River States to validate the claims by their governors that they have COVID-19 cases.
Both governor Yahaya Bello and his counterpart in Cross River, Prof. Benedict Ayade have been boasting that their states are free from COVID-19. As a matter of fact, recently when the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) sent it team to Kogi State, Governor Bello who received them insisted that as part of the protocol in the state, the visiting NCDC team must be quarantined for the mandatory 14 days before they would be allowed to carry out the task they were in the state to do.
Apparently not happy with the stance of the governor, the team from the NCDC left Kogi without achieving their objective. From all indications, the federal government at least judging from the body language of the Nigeria’s minister did not like the guts of Governor Bello. The minister said at the briefing that the initial team dispatched to Kogi had a failed mission because of “some differences” with the state authorities but that a fresh engagement would be carried out.
The Health Minister said, “Kogi State is one of the two states that have said that they do not have COVID-19 patients. They seem to be sure of this. So, the agreement we have had with them after discussion with the governor is that we shall send a team in just to validate that fact and engage the authorities. Of course, we do that for national records and to be able to report to the world the situation in our country. We tried to send a team into Kogi on Thursday but there were some differences there. So, we need to engage the state governor again and state some conditions within which the ministry and NCDC can complete their jobs. We are going to send a team to Cross River next week also.”
The minister in his address also noted that a technical team deployed to Kano State by the ministry had trained 100 ambulance drivers and patient handlers as part of efforts in tackling the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. The minister said the government was also making efforts to build the “expertise of critical care doctors and nurses to utilise ventilators and other appliances being allocated to intensive care hospitals nationwide.”
He said, “A ministerial technical team comprising of various specialists was set up and deployed to Katsina State to assess the situation and report on needed support. Also, calm has been restored in the Gombe State isolation centres.” Ehanire also informed that government’s team was in Jigawa State on a fact-finding mission as the state battled with repatriated Almajiri, of whom many have tested positive for COVID-19.”