By Idowu Abdullahi,
In what looks like a departure from his earlier stance, the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has ordered a total lockdown of Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state for two weeks, following reported confirmed cases of coronavirus in the council area.
He explained that the absolute lockdown, which takes effect from 12 midnight of June 2, was to ensure contact tracing and prevent community and person-person transmission of the virus in the state.
Recall that the state government had faulted the claims by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that the state recorded two index cases last week, adding that the state remains coronavirus free.
But, the Governor said plans are underway to commence aggressive contact tracing across the state, particularly in the council, adding that the state still maintains its stance on coronavirus free status and would ensure renewed screening and testing to verify the claims of the index cases.
Bello, who announced this through a statewide broadcast on Monday, also directed security agencies to enforce all the lockdown protocols by ensuring there is no house-to-house, street movement within the local government area.
According to him, the prohibition of the street and house-to-house movement within the local government area for the period was to minimize the spread of the virus within the area and aid early coordinated response like contact tracing to identify those who might have made contact with the alleged Kogi COVID-19 index persons — Chief Imam of Kabba and his son.
The Governor, through a statement released to newsmen on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, said the government will kick start the house-to-house distribution of palliative within the local government to ease the effect of the lockdown in residnlents.
“Kogi State incident management team should continue to thoroughly carry out the contact tracing. The contact tracing and enforcement of the lockdown order shall be fully covered by the mainstream media.
“Health workers, who might have made contact with the alleged index case, should proceed on self-isolation.
“All security agencies in the state are to enforce total compliance with the lockdown order.
“All citizens and residents of the state should continue to adhere to the NCDC guideline as the state still remain COVID-19 free,” the statement read.