Cross River, Kogi: Buhari to ensure no state is an island – PTF

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With Authorities in Kogi State and Cross River rejecting results of coronavirus tests announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has the final decision that will ensure no state is an island in the fight to flatten the curve.

Kogi State has rejected the two index cases of coronavirus reported by the NCDC last week Wednesday.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had three weeks go  urged the federal government to direct, through the Presidential Task Force (PTF), an investigation into the coronavirus-free status of Kogi and Cross Rivers States

“Kogi State till this very moment is COVID-19 free. We have developed full testing capacity and have conducted hundreds of tests so far which have returned negative,” Saka Audu, the state commissioner for health said in a statement last week Thursday.

Read also: COVID-19: Buhari receives report from PTF

The chairman of the PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who led the team to submit the report to the President on Sunday, was responding to a question on if the refusal of the two states to cooperate with the NCDC came up in the discussion with President Buhari.

Mustapha said: “We discussed challenges generally and I believe that in the context of those discussions, certain steps will be taken. We are doing everything to ensure that the entire nation is on the same page with one response and it is very important that we realise that no state is an island unto itself, when you deal with public health matters.

“Whatever happens in a particular locality has the consequences of spilling off to other constituencies. That is the message that we’ll continue to drive in our pursuit of getting everybody to be on board and I can assure you that there’s no island that exists as far as COVID-19 is concerned in this country.

“We must integrate all the responses from the different segments of the community and the state and have everybody to be on the same page. We will continue to pursue that and we must also ensure that it happens. I can assure about that.”

He said the task force submitted the fourth interim report to the president and to appraise him of the progress that has been achieved in the course of the last two weeks of the extension of the eased phase one of the lockdown and also discuss some of the challenges that they had and suggested what needed to put in place, going forward.

The SGF said President commendation the PTF and assured them that the nation is fully behind them in the work that he has charged them to do. “He’s also appreciative of the work of the frontline workers, particularly the medical personnel, the security personnel and the people who come in contact with the patients in the time of collection of samples, the testings, the care that they are giving.

“We also discussed the issue of compliance and he said we should continue to appeal to Nigerians and drive home the point that it’s a personal responsibility for each and every Nigerian to undertake to ensure that he keeps himself safe and by extension keeping his family, loved ones and community safe.

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“We will continue to drive that message. It’s a message of persuasion, it’s a message that should make people take personal responsibility for their own protection and health and we will not relent on that.”

On some states that have reopened worship centres, Mustapha said: “That’s part of what we have considered in its totality. We’d await Mr President’s on that, once I receive his approval, going forward, to certain recommendations we have put in place, we will know what happens. The issue of easing up, you know we are in the first phase, we had an extension of two weeks for the first phase.”

Mustapha, was accompanied to the presidential villa by Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehinare, Director General of  NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu and National Coordinator of  the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Dr Aliyu Sani.

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