COVID-19: Governors drill health minister over inadequate centres

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The governors of the 36 states of the federation on the platform of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have expressed reservations over inadequate screening centers for the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country.

They made their reservations known while the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Wednesday night briefed them on the ravaging scourge, COVID-19  and efforts to contain it.
They have also demanded to know the cost of a well-equipped isolation center in their states.
The sub-national level of government are expected to partner the government at the centre for an effective collaboration to curtail the scourge.
According to a source at the meeting, the governors expressed their unhappiness with the country’s level of preparedness as they take turns to drill him.
The source added that, Ehanire was asked why there was no single isolation center in the entire northern states, and why there is only three centres in Lagos, Abuja and Edo State.
This came on the heels of the  Katsina State Ministry of Health conforming its first suspected case of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The governors insisted that each of the states ought to have a test and isolation centre.
The minister promised to make the cost available at Thursday’s National Economic Council meeting.
Speaking to journalists after briefing the governors, the minister said the  governors had  pledged to have isolation centers in their states,  with the  bills fully borne by them.
He said the governors wanted “to get the story of how Coronavirus spread abroad and how it has come into Nigeria and what we have done so far. And they asked questions about our strategies, our approach and how it affects their states and our strategies and how they can have access to materials to be able to respond.
“I did not need to make an effort to remind the governors on what they should do because they all offered to play a role which was very good. Infact they wanted to know the cost of building an isolation centres, the cost of the equipment and the kits. And they wanted us to present them with the cost tomorrow (Thursday). We are happy that there is such engagement by the governors.
“We have had eight cases that are confirmed and we are trying to manage information.”
The governors also took briefing from the Director General of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group.

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The governors in attendance included those of Lagos, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Sokoto, Adamawa and Ekiti states.
The deputy governors I attendance included those from Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Zamfara, Benue and Rivers states.

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