COVID-19: The State of States’ Response (1)



By tomorrow, Monday, May 4, the nation will commence a gradual opening up of the system as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari nearly a week ago. This came after about five weeks of shutting down the nation – with focus on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States – to enable leaderships at all levels contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic with regards to the peculiarity of their situations. Evidently, it was a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but because something had to give and given the burgeoning pressure on the Buhari leadership, especially, that the weight of the lockdown had begun to tell poorly on the economy, the president embraced the hardest choice or so to speak. That is not to say, however, that the war against Covid-19 had been subdued let alone won; it was just that the president, perhaps, had only acted on the approaching reality that the virus may not only be with humanity for a very long time as with many of its kind, but has come to stay.

Therefore, the next phase of the battle and as being waged in other climes, is learning to live with the virus, chief of which is cultivating a life of sound hygiene and adhering to the safety rules as advised by medical experts, particularly, the need to observe physical distancing. Of course, man has not relaxed its quest to finding a permanent solution, as Covid-19 appears the biggest threat to humanity at the moment, adjusting to the times is the in-thing, going forward. Although Nigeria is plagued by many challenges – from its population to lack of data, its natural fault lines as well as weak economic and political fabrics – it is trite to say that the Presidential Task Force, empanelled by President Buhari in the wake of the pandemic has not been doing badly, even when there are obvious rooms for improvement and better showing in other instances.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha and his team have been doing all within their powers and with the resources available to confront the challenge that has locked down everything in almost two months, albeit with promising signs that the battle is winnable. This is why a focus on the states has become imperative to assess not only the level of preparedness, particularly, the response level of each of the states to the challenge that caught many napping. Therefore, this special report from all the outstation correspondents of THISDAY across the 36 states of the federation, though short and tight, highlights some of the efforts of each of the states as well as their current state of play including what has come to be known as the invaluable assistance and collaboration from their federal counterpart. After reviewing the reports of our state correspondents, the EDITORS of THISDAY give their verdicts in the editors’ scoreboard

Lagos: Firing From All Cylinders

Reporter Segun James

As the model state, both in terms of the first case recorded in the country as well as the management of the coronavirus, Lagos has maintained an enviable capacity in the overall effort to tame the monster.
This, as the nation continues to witness a steady rise in the virus, Lagos, last week commissioned a 118-bed Isolation and Treatment Center located within the premises of the Gbagada General Hospital. The commissioning, however, brings to eight, the number of such facilities across the state.

Within the three-floor facility are dedicated intensive care isolation unit, ventilators, monitors, respirators, mobile x-ray, ultrasound and oxygen amongst other ultra-modern medical equipment.
As at yesterday, 26 more carriers: 14 males and 12 females, including 2 foreign nationals – a Polish and a Filipino, have been discharged from the Yaba and Onikan Isolation facilities.
The patients, 14 from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba and 12 from the Onikan Isolation Centre were discharged having fully recovered and tested negative to COVID-19 in two consecutive readings. With this, the number of confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos is now 225.

Thus, to keep hope alive, especially for the essential health workers, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who has continued to commend the state health team responding to the COVID 19 pandemic, has also approved a plethora of incentives in appreciation of their efforts.
Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said recently in an interview with THISDAY, is not only prepared for the worst, but clearly hoping for the best given all that his administration had so far committed to the fight against Covid-19. Sanwo-Olu represent one of the big revelation of the coronavirus pandemic. His response has been excellent, displaying all the attributes of a leader in term of crisis.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Excellent Leadership

Ekiti: Leveraging Capacity and Leadership

Reporter Victor Ogunje

Reports coming from Ekiti State indicated that over 70 suspected Covid-19 patients had been tested out of which eight were positive from the results released by the NCDC.
Going by the statistics released by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade during Covid-19 task force press briefing on Wednesday, Ekiti at present has five active, one dead and two discharged cases of Coronavirus infection.

All the five patients are presently being treated at the state’s isolation centre located within the premises of Oba Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
According to the Commissioner, blood samples taken in Ekiti were being taken to Ede, Osun State for testing and evaluation.
Another member of the Task Force and Information Commissioner, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, said despite the fact that private individuals and corporate organisations were making donations to the fight against the scourge, finance and influx of people through the borders remain the greatest challenges besetting the state.

Olumilua identified defiant nature of many Pastors to the total cancellation of congregation in places of worship as another challenge being experienced in the fight against Covid 19. But in all the leadership style of Governor Kayode Fayemi, which recently earned the state a second place in terms of response to the challenge, coming after Lagos, during a general evaluation of states, has left the state trudging on despite the many roadblocks. Governor Fayemi has shown a very strong determination to containedthe crisis. He has been very proactive.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Very Good Leadership

Cross-River: No-Case, Because no texting

Reporter Bassey Inyang

At the moment, Cross River State is one of the 36 states of the country, where no official case of the Covid-19 has been recorded, although the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has attributed this to the small number of samples sent by the state for testing.
As of March 2020, there was a suspected case, which turned out negative, just about the result of less than ten samples that the state has sent out for testing at the Federal Medical Centre in Irrua, Edo State.

Cross River has no test centre for Covid-19, neither does it have a well-equipped Isolation Centre, except that in the last couple of days, the state has commenced work at the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel with a view to using it as its Isolation Centre in Calabar, just as it is working to establish another one on Ogoja in the northern part of the state.

The only available Isolation Centre at the moment is a 4-bed facility with just two ventilators at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), a development, which informed the hospital, the owners of the facility, to appeal to the federal government to expand it to a 20-bed facility with 20 ventilators. But the state says its priority and strategy are different from those of other states, because it shares borders with Akwa Ibom State, Eboyin State, Abia State, Benue State and the Republic of Cameroon where cases of Covid-19 has been recorded officially.

Governor Ben Ayade has said it on many occasions that the strategy of his administration remains shutting down its borders, making the use of facemasks compulsory, discouraging crowded churches, mosques and other places of worship.
In reality, the governor is not really promoting social and physical distancing of persons as he has spoken openly against it, and argued that the facemask is enough defence against the spread of the Covid-19. In Ayade Cross River, there are no cases of the virus because he is not testing. He talks a lot and easily reminds you of motion without movement.

SCOREBOARD: Very good on face mask production and mobilisation, very poor on testing

Edo: Striving to Balance the Equations

Reporter Adibe Emenyonu

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Edo State, about 297,000 persons have so far been tested, while some 200,000 persons have been screened.
Out of these figures, 44 persons have been confirmed positive of the virus while 31 confirmed carriers are still on admission. Besides, some 10 other persons have been discharged and three deaths recorded so far. The state government have continued to respond to the situation as the are unfolding in the same manner not different from others, who understand the weight of the challenging at hand, which includes decent isolation centres, provision of protective gears and enforcing the safety rules among others.
The main challenge, however, remains late testing, a major factor that has also led to an increase in number of recorded cases and casualties as at the time of going to press. Just yesterday he announced that Edo had 40,000 people this he said was achieved in partnerhip private hospital.


Benue: Maintaining a Safe Guard

Reporter George Okoh

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Benue State Government and its agencies have swung into action to ensure the deadly virus is contained.
The government had immediately the pandemic broke out in some states, inaugurated a committee known as the Covid-19 committee, saddled with the responsibility of educating, informing and curtailing the disease.

The team, headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu, had quickly established an Isolation center at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital in anticipation of any index.
Governor Samuel Ortom of the state also responded by shutting down all schools in the state, markets as well as places of worship and eventually imposed a curfew from 7pm to 6am.
The state, however, recorded its first index case, when a woman who arrived the country from the United Kingdom tested positive and was isolated at the teaching hospital.
Due to lack of any testing facility in the state, her samples along with many other suspected cases were taken to the NCDC lab in Abuja. So far, that’s the only index case in Benue, which has since recovered.

Despite the effort of the state government, adherence to directives has been poor. Markets and residents close to markets have defied the directive of keeping distances. The state is also facing the challenge of lack of testing and protective materials. There have also been cries of lack of food from residents as the palliatives from the state government were not enough to go round.


Osun: Responding to Capacity Demands

Reporter Yinka Kolawole

The total Cases of Covid-19 in Osun is 34 and this is cumulative of samples collected over a period 3 weeks. But the Covid-19 patients so far discharged were 19 while the total number of patients undergoing treatment stood at 12.
As at the evening of April 27, 2020, a total number of 340 samples had been collected out of which 34 were confirmed positive, 19 treated and discharged, two died, active cases now 13. Commissioner and Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu and Dr. Olasiji Olamiju respectively had hinted that the two deaths recorded in the state were people who returned to the state from Lagos.

The appearance of the duo before the House gave them an opportunity to intimate the parliamentarians with the state of isolation centres, number of deaths recorded and present condition of those, who are in the isolation centres among others.
However, the response level of the state as well as the challenges being faced, were viewed against the backdrop of the economics implications of the lockdown on the people.


Oyo: Not Closing the Gaps Yet

Reporter Kemi Olaitan

Between late March when Oyo State recorded its first index case of Coronavirus and now, not less than 775 people have been tested with 21 cases positive, 10 discharged, two fatalities, one transferred to Lagos and eight active cases in the state.
While the state government has put various measures and policies in place to curtail the spread of the pandemic such as having isolation centres in Jericho and Olodo, both in Ibadan while there are two testing centres, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and that of the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, jointly operated by the state government and a non-governmental organisation, Citizen4Citizen, the state Task Force headed by Governor Seyi Makinde, has not lived up to the expectations of the people.

With discordant tunes coming from members of the task force, the number of those tested is insignificant for a state, whose population is over six million people.
Governor Makinde while personally acknowledging some of the challenges faced by the state, said out of those tested, the state currently awaits the result of 300 due to a shortage of reagents to process COVID-19 tests.
But the governor claimed the state was already in the process of acquiring more reagents in the shortest possible time to enable them clear the backlog. Makinde is providing a breath of fresh air in his Leadership style.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Very Good Leadership

Abia: Testing Capacity as the Bane

Reporter Emmanuel Ugwu

Abia State was free of Covid-19 pandemic until April 20, 2020, when two sick septuagenarians tested positive for the disease. The state is now fighting hard to contain the spread.
Abia has no testing centre but the spokesman of the Covid-19 Committee, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, said over 60 tests had been done by the state so far and only the two index cases have come out positive. No Covid-19 related death has been recorded in Abia as the two index cases are presently receiving treatment in isolation centre.

Before Covid-19 index cases surfaced in Abia, the state had rolled out measures aimed at containing the spread. It closed its borders on March 28, 2020 and followed it up with total lockdown announced by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu with effect from April 1, 2020. A dusk to dawn curfew was imposed on the state with effect from April 27, 2020. The state has three isolation centres while arrangement is on for a fourth in Abia North zone. Government has procured and distributed sanitizers and facemasks. In fact the governor has boasted that the state was self-sufficient in facemasks, which is locally produced in the commercial city of Aba. Wearing of facemask in public has been made compulsory and three mobile courts were inaugurated on Monday to try and sanction defaulters.

Aside from absence of testing centre in the state, government is also grappling with the issue of insufficient ventilators should the number of index cases with critical conditions increase. Contact tracing in the three designated local governments of Ikwuano, Umuahia North and Ukwa West has continued to pose difficult challenge for the state health officials and epidemiologists. Though over 200 contacts have been traced and isolated so far, there were reports of resistance in some communities. But Governor Ikpeazu has taken a drastic measure to tackle the problem. He has directed security agents to assist the health officials and threatened to sack transition council chairman and traditional ruler of any community that denied access to health officials while those resisting access would be prosecuted.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Average Leadership

Kaduna: Struggling With a Clear-cut Approach

Reporter John Shiklam

Kaduna State has two laboratories for the testing of COVID-19. Located in Kaduna and Zaria, the laboratories are, according to the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Amina Balani, had been accredited by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
She said an “Incident Action Plan was developed and the Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC) was upgraded in terms of infrastructure, specialised equipment and personnel to make it capable of managing COVID-19 patients that may need critical care.”

The commissioner said a total of 125 people were tested out of which 14 people tested positive, including the governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. However, six patients had recovered while eight are still being treated, adding that, so far, no death has been recorded in the state. Also, as part of their response to the challenge, the commissioner disclosed that over 22,000 people had been trained on various components of COVID-19 prevention protocol or its management, noting also that the training involved health workers, community leaders, religious and traditional leaders as well as security personnel among others. But going forward, the state government has further extended the lockdown for another 30 days to curb the spread of the disease, while making the wearing of facemasks compulsory in offices, markets, commercial vehicles and other public places.

In addition, the government had banned travelers coming in or going out of the state while mobile courts had been set up to summarily prosecute violators of the restriction of movement in the state.
But the greatest challenge in the state is that many people are not adhering to the social distancing rules against the spread of the disease. He has proved himself willing to take tough and unpopular decisions to contained the deadly virus.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Excellent Leadership

Anambra: Keeping a Low Profile

Reporter David-Chyddy Eleke

Anambra State, as at Saturday, April 25, 2020, said it had sent a total of 69 samples to the National Centre for Disease Control. This is in spite of the estimated seven million population of the state, making the percentage an abysmally low one.
Governor Willie Obiano of the state, who disclosed this during a state wide broadcast, said only one of the samples came out positive, and the patient has also been treated of the ailment and discharged, while 36 of his contacts, tested negative, making the state Coronavirus free, presently.

The state has neither witnessed any deaths from Coronavirus nor cases of patients, who are still in hospital. The governor however stated that one more result was still being awaited. Adjudging the state presently free of the virus, he has relaxed the lockdown, calling for churches, markets and other public places to open for business, while observing the use of facemasks, hand washing with sanitizers and social distancing.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Average Leadership

Sokoto: Tackling Rising Cases of Covid-19

Reporter Onuminya Innocent

Sokoto State, the seat of Caliphate, has so far recorded 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19, barely one week the first index case was discovered.
In a statewide broadcast by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Tuesday night, revealed that 67 people were tested at the Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, out of which 19 were tested positive to the virus. He also added that three people who had underlining health issues such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension, also died of the pandemic.

The governor called on the people to remain calm as government was working hard in collaboration with the NCDC to contain the pandemic.
Chairman, Task Force Committee on Covid-19 in the state and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ali Inname, said the virus was spreading at an alarming rate and stressed that Usman Danfodio University teaching hospital laboratory has been activated as a testing centre. He added that the state had trained 279 staff and overcame 3000 responses from volunteer health personnel in their bid to proactively tackle the pandemic.

But THISDAY gathered that the state was facing the challenge of isolation centre as the two centres, the Amanya infectious hospital and NYSC Orientation Camp at Wamakko, were grossly inadequate for the state.
Another challenge is that the sample taking for testing has not been enough compared to the people, who had direct contact with the infected persons. There’s also the porosity of borders with Niger Republic, which witnesses daily influx of foreigners into the state. Tambuwal have been slow to react to the virus spread.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Average Leadership So far

Niger: Gradually Flattening the Curve

Reporter Laleye Dipo

So far in Niger State, only two coronavirus cases have been recorded. One of the cases from Tegina has however tested negative in the first test carried out on his sample and could be released from isolation if the second case is also negative. The result of the test for the Limawa positive case is still being awaited. Generally, over 151 cases have been isolated in the state with 62 of them on forced isolation by the Covid-19 task force while the others were on self-quarantine.
THISDAY learnt that as at Monday last week only five cases are left under quarantine as all others have been discharged. The state, in line with the regulation of the NCDC, does not carryout tests but forward samples to the laboratory in Abuja for such examination.
The state has been under first partial and now total lockdown in the last five weeks as a step taken by government to contain the spread of the disease.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Good Leadership response so far

Kwara: Running With the Tide

Reporter Hammed Shittu
It is not overstating the obvious to say that the Kwara State government has taken strategic measures at curtailing the spread of the Covid-19 across the 16 local government areas of the state. The development came up against the backdrop of the recent confirmation of eleven Covid-19 cases in the state especially, the one that died at University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, after his return from the United Kingdom, where he attended the graduation of one of his children.

However, as at April 27, the confirmed index cases of the pandemic stood at 11 while the active cases also stood at 9 and two discharged. Also, the number of the pending test cases in the isolation centers in the state stood at 168 while the negative tests case was 214. But the state has yet to record any death.

Deputy Governor and Chairman of the technical committee on Covid-19, Mr. Kayode Alabi has been working round the clock to curtail the spread of the pandemic disease. Among such strategic measures put in place was the total lockdown of the state. The lockdown covers no vehicular movements, closure of borders linking the state, sensitisation and enlightenment campaigns in both radio and television, establishment of mobile court to try violators of the lockdown and increase in the number of isolation centers like Sobi Specialist hospital, NYSC camp, Hajji camp, and Offa General hospital. The only challenge being faced by the state government was compliance to the lockdown order as some of them used the period of their nights to travel to other parts of the state and other adjoining states of Kogi, Oyo, Osun and Niger, among others, which hitherto posed a serious threat to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Good Leadership So Far

FCT: Test, Treat, Trace and Isolate

He is aggressive in testing with federal might and he is treating and isolating people and so far with few deaths. In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, through the Emergency Epidemic Response Committee, had tested 3,403 persons across several communities in order to locate carriers of the virus. The FCT has 173 people, who are infected with COVID-19 virus, ranking the Territory the second behind Lagos as the place with the highest number of cases in the country.
So far, 36 persons had fully recovered from the disease, having been discharged from the two coronavirus isolation centres at the National Hospital, Abuja, and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada. Presently, there are three fatalities and 138 active cases, with many responding to treatment.

A member of the FCT Emergency Epidemic Response Committee, Dr. Josephine Okechukwu, identified several challenges faced in dealing with the pandemic and the response level of the residents of the FCT. Okechukwu, who is Director of FCT Public Health Department, lamented the attitude of the people, who still believed that coronavirus was a hoax, saying the response committee had been embarking on sensitisation to change that attitude.

She also stressed that whenever the committee received calls about suspected cases of coronavirus, it went to sites to collect samples and whenever the tests turned out positive, the response team referred the victims to the treatment centres and also carried out community tracing of people infected with the virus. She, however, lamented that on several occasions, the health workers were attacked when they visited some inaccessible communities to investigate suspected cases, while some patients deliberately moved to other locations to avoid treatment after learning of their Covid-19 status. Another challenge is that people in some FCT communities, sometimes mistake the response team as officials in charge of distribution of palliatives and foods and often rushed out to receive them, only to pelt them with anything in sight when they realised their real mission. On the whole the Minister of FCT has been very organised and upfront in the battle to contain the virus and keep at bay from the territory. He has shown good leadership.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Very Good Leadership

Katsina: Dedicated to Aggressive Contact Tracing

Reporter Francis Sardauna
In Katsina State, the state government has collected 287 samples and from the 227 released, 40 of the samples were positive with two deaths. The 40 confirmed cases are currently on admission at the Isolation Centres in the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, and General Amadi Rimi Specialist Hospital.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari disclosed this while briefing journalists in Government House. He also said, “We have identified a total of 455 contacts with the following distribution: Daura Local Government 156; Katsina 52; Zango 16; Mai’Adua 6; Sandamu 3; Dutsi 1; Ingawa 1; Baura 1; Mashi 1; Dutsin-Ma 110, Mani 20; Batagarawa 46; Safana 32. “Among the earlier admitted cases, seven have turned negative with one being negative for the second times. The second negative is due for discharge. Hopefully, the other six if returned negative for a second time within the week, they shall also be due for discharge.”


Nasarawa: Battling to Contain Community Transmission

Reporter Igbawase Ukumba
In Nasarawa State, there was no testing facility at the time of filing this report as the state takes suspected cases to either Jos in Plateau State or the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Commissioner for Health, Ahmed Yahaya, told THISDAY in a telephone interview, that about 200 persons have so far been tested in the state with only one person testing positive and has been hospitalised at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), where she is responding to treatment.
According to the commissioner, “Nasarawa State’s response to containing the virus is being pursued with vigour as six Isolation\Sample Collection Centres have been completed and put to use, while COVID-19 task force has been inaugurated in all the 13 Local Government Areas of the state. Yahaya x-rayed some of the challenges confronting the state in the fight against the pandemic to include influx of people resident in the COVID-19 affected states into the state, as well as the porous land borders of the state.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Average Leadership

Kano: A Mess of the Matter

Reporter Ibrahim Shuaibu

The the number of infected persons in Kano State has continued to rise by the day with 38 persons being confirmed positive of the Covid-19 late Tuesday night. This is amid the killer strange illness that had claimed almost 700 souls in the last two weeks.
The latest 38 number of confirmed persons in the state brought to the total number of carriers of COVID-19 in Kano to 115. Out of the 115, three people have lost their lives.
Coordinator of COVID-19 Task Force Committee, Dr. Hussaini Tijjani, said before 38 people were confirmed positive, 283 samples were sent to Abuja for analysis. He also added that as at Tuesday, the Task Force received 457 alerts, out of which 25 persons turned out to have the symptoms related to COVID-19.

Hussaini added that the state COVID-19 Task Force has received manpower support from the NCDC, promising that the Task Force would continue to trace contacts and ensure that every suspected person gets tested. A few days ago, Hussaini had raised the alarm over three people, who were tested positive for the COVID-19 Pandemic, abandoned their homes and ran away. The Task Force is currently on their trail. This was just as Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, expressed fear over community transmission of the deadly virus, but has continued to urge residents to abide by the rules of the lockdown and stay safe. For too long he lived in denial, and still lives in denial of what is killing his people. His poor leadership costing lives.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Weak Leadership, Disaster

Adamawa: Contending With Cases of Unknown Origin

Reporter Daji Sani
The total index cases confirmed in Adamawa State have remained two with no fatality.Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday said, when the state thought it had tremendous progress making sure that the first index case was inching towards complete recovery, he received, another devastating update that out of the eight samples pending at the NCDC Referral Lab in Abuja, one had turned out positive.

He said the challenge in the second index was that it was not linked to the first index case. “Last week, we sent eight samples to Abuja. Five were direct contacts of the index case as traced; while 3 were new suspicious cases who were showing signs and symptoms. “More disturbing is the fact that the victim is a Medical Doctor in one of our hospitals in Mubi, who must have had contact with many people in the course of discharging his duties lawfully. This indeed placed on our shoulder, a herculean task of contact tracing, which is not only tedious, but also strenuous. While the contact tracing is no doubt daunting, more scaring is the fact that we may be sliding into the most dangerous phase of the pandemic, which is community transmission of the virus,” he said.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Average Leadership

Ogun: Standing Up to the Challenge

Reporter Kayode Fasua
Like his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, is the Incident Commander in the state’s efforts at flattening the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, six persons had been discharged from the state’s isolation centres, having obtained a clean bill of health to join their families. This however leaves the state with only three active cases. Abiodun, in a statement, said as part of concerted efforts to curb further transmission of the virus, the government had strengthened its tracing process.

“So far, we have identified 210 persons, who had contacts with the positive cases, out of which 110 underwent the required 14 days quarantine period. Only 2 of this number tested positive, while the remaining 108 tested negative on completion of the quarantine period,” he said, adding that 100 other persons were still observing the quarantine period. “We thank God, Ogun State has been able to manage the pandemic effectively so far and surpassed the global average for tested cases and transmission. The global average is one positive case to three new infections, but in our case, it is one positive case to one new infection.

“But, even with the relatively lower number of positive and active cases, we will leave no stone unturned to prevent further infection, spread and death from the dreaded virus. By the grace of God, we will record a zero number of cases soonest,” Abiodun assured. Ogun has just installed the first State fully funded Molecular Laboratory in the country. The laboratory is at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, and awaiting the accreditation of the NCDC to commence full operation. Calmly rose to the occasion and has been meticulous in planning. His containment strategy is robust.

EDITOR’S SCOREBOARD: Very Good Leadership