Kogi State Government has banned all forms of social or religious gatherings in the state, with immediate effect, stressing that there would be no more gatherings in Churches, Mosques, Clubs, beer joints, weddings or burials across the state.
Kogi State Commissioner of Information and Communication, Hon Kingsley Fanwo who made this known in a press statement in Lokoja on Monday, said the decision was arrived after the high-power committee met to draw a roadmap for the battle against the deadly virus.
He said though the Committee established the fact that there is no confirmed case of Coronavirus yet in the state, but agreed that the pandemic is more serious than earlier thought; hence the need to deal with it with all the seriousness and commitment it deserves.
He also disclosed that henceforth, vehicles traversing the state would no longer be allowed to stop over in the state, except it is established that some of their passengers would be alighting within the state. They would however be allowed to buy fuel in the state.
He further disclosed that all market places with large crowds would also be shut down, while efforts would be intensified towards sensitizing the people to stay at home as much as possible.
Hon Fanwo also announced that all hotels, restaurants and other offices must make provision for water, soap and sanitizers for their customers to wash their hands.
He further disclosed that the Committee mooted the idea of banning Okada transport in order to reduce contact and also stop people from leaving their homes indiscriminately but that no final decision has been taken on that.
According to the Commissioner, the committee agreed that the FAREC Clinic in Lokoja will serve as Containment/Isolation Center for the state while laboratories in the state are to be upgraded to be able to test for Coronavirus.
The Committee, he also noted, resolved to trace and track people who just returned to the state from affected countries with a view to detecting their status, adding that fake reports on the spread of the virus would be decisively dealt with in order to save the people from unnecessary panic.
He disclosed that Senior Special Assistants to the Governor on Security as well as the Directors of Local Government Areas are to coordinate grassroots sensitization as efforts are on at deploying town criers to carry the message of the committee to the grassroots.
Fanwo who restated the resolve of the committee to enlist the services of security agencies to enforce the directives of government, stressed that these directives are aimed at ensuring the pandemic is contained properly.
He advised the people of Kogi state to stay at home in order to reduce the risk of contracting the virus, employ good personal hygiene, and advising further anyone suspected to be showing symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported to the committee for immediate help.
The 29-man Committee code named ‘COVID-19 Squadron’ is led by the Deputy Governor of the State, His Excellency Chief Edward Onoja to coordinate Government’s efforts against the virus.
The high-powered Committee also includes the Secretary to the Kogi State Government, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, some Commissioners and other relevant stakeholders both within and outside the government.