Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Gombe State governor Muhammadu Inua Yahaya has confirmed that the 22 suspected COVID-19 cases so far identified in the state have tested negative to the virus.
According to the governor during a state-wide broadcast on Tuesday, despite the strategic position of the state as the commercial nerve centre of the North East sub-region, Gombe still maintains a zero-case status. “This suggests that our risk mitigation measures are effective,” he said.
However, he added that a sustained vigilance, enforcement, and control are more imperative. “This is because our state continues to attract the movement of people, goods and services from other parts of the country, including states with confirmed COVID-19 cases such as Bauchi, Kano and the FCT all of which have historical, social, cultural and economic relationships with our people.”
The governor who gave an account of the successes so far recorded by the state task force on COVID-19, which includes the establishment of 210-bed capacity isolation centres across the state, also expressed dismay over the attitude of some security agents and community members in helping motorists to sneak into the state.
He said: “We also received reports of the influx of Almajirai into our communities from the neighbouring states. It is disturbing to note that many local mallams are encouraging such migrations, thereby increasing the risk of importing the virus into our communities.”
While appealing to all concerned citizens to show responsibility and patriotism, the governor assured that he would continue to work with stakeholders to ensure strictly compliance with all restrictions and directives.
He equally added: “Regrettably, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic meltdown which further deprives us the financial resources needed to adequately confront it. However, we are working with the Federal Government with a view to expanding existing palliative measures through the Social Investment Programme.” He said the new strategies were being developed in order to further cushion the effect of the crises on the state.
While announcing that the measures such as school closure, stay-at-home order for civil servants from Levels 1 to 12 as well as the closure of the state boundaries and the ban on large social and religious gatherings taken to contain the spread of the virus in Gombe, remains active, the governor assured that the orders would be reviewed as the situation improves based on the advice of public health experts, disaster managers in the state as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Government.
“As we continue to monitor and enforce the above restrictions, we will not hesitate to deploy more stringent measures when and where necessary. Our response will continue to be guided by empirical evidence and pragmatism,” he said.