The Nigerian government has declared Kogi, a state in the north-central region of the country, a high-risk state for refusing to acknowledge the existence of the disease.
The country’s Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday noted that the Kogi government had failed to report testing, lacked isolation centres and warned Nigerians to be cautious of visiting the state.
It said having analysed the pandemic in the country, 22 high-burdened Local Government Areas within 13 states in the country had been identified.
The National Incident Manager (NIM) of the PTF COVID-19 pandemic, Mukhtar Muhammad, said this on Monday during the PTF briefing on COVID-19.
“In addition to these, we have states where data is not coming forth. If we don’t test, your data will not be analysed and if your data is not analysed, we won’t know the level of the pandemic in your state,” Muhammad said.
“Notable among the states are Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi and of course Kogi that has not been reporting at all.
“States that are not testing are probably at much higher risk than the states that are currently known as high burdened states.
“A state that is not testing at all is an absolute high risk for Nigerians to visit because, there is no testing facility and even if you fall sick, there is no isolation centre and they don’t even acknowledge that the disease exists. So for that reason, we put that state at the top of high-risk states.”
According to Mr Mohammed, the 22 high burdened local government areas within 13 states in the country, mostly in the cities of the state capitals contributed over 95 per cent of new cases recorded in the last six weeks.
He listed the states and local governments as Nkanu West (Enugu); Abuja Municipal (FCT); Gwagwalada FCT; Gombe (Gombe); Chikun (Kaduna); Kaduna North; Kaduna South; Nassarawa (Kano); Katsina (Katsina); Ilorin South (Kwara); Ilorin West (Kwara); Eti-Osa (Lagos); Ikeja (Lagos); Kosofe (Lagos); Lagos Mainland (Lagos); Keffi (Nasarawa); (Lafia) Nasarawa; Ibadan North (Oyo); Jos North (Plateau); Jos South (Plateau); Port-Harcourt (Rivers); and Wamako (Sokoto).
He said the PTF was working currently to provide support to various states through their task forces towards contextualising and implementing the regulation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As mentioned earlier, the regulation covers places of worship, public transport, banks, workplaces, sports and so on and so forth,” he said.
By Abel Ejikeme