COVID-19: Ministerial Taskforce expresses concern over lockdown ease in Gombe

The Federal Government’s Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19 has raised concerns about the potential risk of a second wave of Coronavirus infection in Gombe State after last week’s relaxation of the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic in the state.

The team led by Dr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment said this during a visit to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, following the directives of the Minister of Health and President Muhammadu Buhari to support states in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr Gwarzo commended the progress made by the Gombe State Government through the state task force which has brought a reduction in the number of infections in the state.

He called on the State government to prepare for eventualities and ensure infections do not reoccur in the state while also emphasizing the need for a testing centre in the state.

Dr Gwarzo also commended the governor and the Chairman of the Taskforce on COVID-19 on the efforts so far made to procure machines for testing in Gombe State, pledging to support its installation.

He noted that carrying out tests in Abuja or Vom, Plateau State causes undue delays and anxieties.

“With 280 samples still pending and with a size of a place like Gombe, it is not encouraging, leading to the apprehension,” Dr Gwarzo said.

He pledged the Ministerial taskforce’s support to the state in getting early access to testing and PCM as well as prioritizing the state in the availability of gene experts.

Dr Gwarzo also commended the state COVID-19 Taskforce for intercepting people at various entry points across the state.

Responding, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, noted that the strategic location of the state as a link to the other North Eastern States places it at a disadvantage and exposes the state to a high risk of infection by people transiting through the state.

Governor Yahaya, however, noted that Gombe State Security and Taskforce have been able to detect such persons at the entry points and have them quarantined for tests and proper evaluation.

He announced that as of May 18, after nearly two months of the order, the PCR Machine being awaited had been cleared at the Abuja Airport.

Governor Yahaya pledged to give the NCDC all the needed support in its work while also calling on the NCDC to consider the establishment of a testing centre in the state.

“So, you can imagine with the dilapidated roads and lack of flights, how long it will take for somebody to convey a sample and get the results back to the people, with the level of anxiety and excitement and psychological stress that you put them through because of the lockdown trying to get the result for them in order to be sure that we move forward. That’s an issue,” Governor Yahaya said.

Source: Voice of Nigeria