The Nigerian Governors Forum has called for the decentralisation of the activities of the COVID-19 response from federal to local governments to curtail further spread of the pandemic. The forum also agreed to an interstate lockdown for two weeks.
The chairman of the forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, in a statement he signed, on Wednesday, described the decentralisation idea as the best chance of nipping the spread of the virus in communities.
Mr Fayemi said this was imperative as a result of the increasing number of index cases across communities.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, had, during a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Wednesday, raised concerns over the community spread of the ailment.
The minister, therefore, called for an active response towards empowering the primary healthcare sector in the country.
The task force currently coordinates the national response to the deadly pandemic in Nigeria.
Data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that Nigeria has recorded 873 cases of coronavirus including 28 deaths.
Mr Fayemi said the forum has unanimously agreed to the implementation of an inter-state lockdown in the country over the next two weeks.
He said this would help to mitigate the spread of the virus from state to state adding that only essential services will be permitted to be transported across state boundaries.
Many states had earlier announced the closure of their boundaries to check the spread of coronavirus. Despite such closure, however, many Nigerians still travel to and from such states, indicating weakness in implementation.
The new agreement by the governors indicate such interstate travel ban is now nationwide.
Meanwhile, Mr Fayemi said the forum resolved to work with the NCDC to ensure that health workers are provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and are constantly trained on their use.
“Governors resolved to set up COVID-19 Committees at the regional level, headed by their State Commissioners of Health. Regional Committees will continue to interface with the State Task Force Committees on COVID-19 already established in each State,” he said.