How Has Kogi Combated COVID-19?

Lest anyone accuse us of ineptitude or riding on sheer luck, we wish to point out that in addition to everything else, Kogi State has had an excellent history of managing epidemics in the past. 

The excellent network we already had in place for managing Lassa Fever and other disease outbreaks long before CoviD-19 appeared on the scene provided a framework upon which we founded our current structures for containing the virus. 

We inaugurated a CoviD-19 and Lassa Fever Squadron Committee chaired by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State to enable us tackle the former without losing track of the latter, which was already claiming casualties across the nation at the time. 

The Committee which is overseen by the Governor himself is composed of a broad spectrum of medical practitioners, Civil Society Organization, Religious Leaders, traditional institutions and other stakeholders has thus far done a great job in keeping both diseases at bay. 

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The Kogi State Government has developed and deployed measures which have proved effective: 

Our people are adequately sensitised in all languages and locations throughout the state about the coronavirus. 

Our people and their properties are adequately secured in their homes and when they venture out by a state security infrastructure which is permanently on high alert. Since the lockdown began, we have arrested at least 21 kidnappers in addition to many perpetrators of other crimes.

We have set up 3 Isolation/Containment Centres in the State, which currently lie unused (as we indeed hope they will remain until this pandemic is over). 

We have, through the Kogi State Ministry of Health, deployed health personnel to all the 239 Wards of the State to help sensitize the people on the dangers of the virus and also in contact tracing. 

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We provided emergency and toll free numbers for anyone who suspects a case of Covid-19 to call in at no cost and we have responded to many calls, all of which turned out to be false alarms. 

We ensured that the economic disconnect which drives people to risky behaviours at times like this are minimised through a curated lockdown system which sustains a level of business activities while reducing the risk of contagion. 

As part of our controlled lockdown procedures for social distancing we shutdown schools, places of worship and events with mass gatherings and sent state workers on Grade Levels 1 to 13 on paid furlough. 

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We banned  certain means of public transportation like motorcycles and tricycles which tended to increase exposure. 

As mentioned earlier in this piece we were the first state to officially release a web application for self-assessment which has proved to be popular and effective in reducing panic among the populace. The Federal Government and several state governments have since launched similar apps. 

What we expect from the National Centre for Disease Control is commendation of our efforts to contain the outbreak of the pandemic.

Signed: 

Kingsley Fanwo
Commissioner for Information and Communication,
Kogi State.

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