Bishop (Dr) John Ibenu, the Kogi Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has commended the State Government on its level of preparedness in case of any incidence of Covid-19 in the state.
Ibenu gave the commendation when the Chairmen of both CAN and the Council of ULA’MA in Kogi had a meeting with the officials of the State Ministry of Health, on Monday in Lokoja.
Ibenu noted that he was at the ministry last week to meet with the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, to ascertain the level of Government’s preparation towards the containment of Covid-19 in case of eventuality in the state.
”So, as a medical doctor, and as CAN Chairman who is in charge of people, what I have seen and heard here today, I am satisfied with the level of preparedness by the state government.
”Anybody that has anything contrary should physically come to the ministry of health for confirmation. We have also seen the effectiveness of the self assessment App.
”As religious body, we are here to protect the public and we will do everything possible to make sure that everyone is protected that people do not get infected.
”We are here to allay the fear of everyone and assure them that Kogi Government is doing its best to keep the state from having Covid-19,” Ibenu said.
He urged the people to make use of the seven hotlines that the State Government has provided, saying anybody who has doubt should come to the ministry of health for confirmation.
The CAN chairman, however, advised the ministry to have a press briefing once or twice a week to update the general public on the state’s preparedness on Covid-19.
”The religious body are fully ready to cooperate with the state government on the Covid-19 issues even if it becomes necessary to lockdown Kogi State, we are ready to cooperate and do so,” Ibenu said.
On his part, Mallam Abubakar Aliyu, the state Chairman of Council of Ula’ma, commended the state government for its efforts, but insisted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should have testing centres in all the 36 States of the federation.
Aliyu stressed that the fight against Covid-19 pandemic remained a collective responsibility of all, saying, ”we must together join hands to contain the dreaded pandemic”.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Babamaaji Abubakar, said the state was fully prepared to handle any incidence of the Covid-19 pandemic, but not praying for it..
”We already have more than 113 beds, four Isolation centres with many laboratory equipment.
”There will be no need for more than one or two ventilators for now, since a ventilator can serve a 100 patients of Covid-19 using tubing, and no incidence yet in Kogi,” he said.
He added that the state had invited NCDC for validation of Genexpert and PCR Machines for Covid-19 testing, launched Self Risk Assessment App, set up GPRS Tracking control centre for case monitoring, and organised awareness programme for citizens.
”We have trained and retraining of health workers, procured PPEs and other medical consumables, medical equipment like thermometers, multichannels patients monitor, and automated laboratory equipment.”, he said.
Mr Umameh Augustine, Liaison-ICT Officer-Kogi Covid-19 Incidence Management Team, who presented a report update on the state’s Covid-19 App, said over 216, 398 people have so far visited the Self Assessment App page.
He added that out of the 216, 398 visits, 15, 590 people have taken self assessment of the App, while live messages was 1,755 people.
He added that out of the 15,590 people that took self assessment on the app, only 48 of them were found within the range of medium to high risk.
He noted that majority of the 48 people were not from Kogi while few were indigenes of Kogi, adding that the development had made them to improve on the App to easily identified locations.
He further said that 119 people had so far made calls to the state Covid-19 seven hotlines, stressing that Kogi was yet to have any confirmed incidence of Covid-19 at the time of the meeting.
According to Augustine, the seven hotlines are: Two Toll Free: 09071316534, 09013429437, while other five are 07044485619, 07088292249, 08150953486, 08095227003 and 07043402122.
The Covid-19 Risk Assessment App is www.kogicovid19.com.ng
The State Epidemiologist, Dr Austin Ojotule, urged the general public to always give correct and accurate information whenever they called those hotlines.
Also at the meeting were: the Director of Public Health, Dr. Francis Akpa; the Chairman, Risk Communication on Covid-19 and State Health Educator, Alhaji Yusuf Acheku; among others.