Minister of Health Briefs Govs on COVID-19

Minister of state for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

At the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held last night, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire briefed the governors on the ravaging COVID-19 and what the federal government is doing to contain the disease.

The governors, it was learnt, resolved to set up committee to review the impacts of the epidemic on states

A source privy to the closed-door meeting told THISDAY that the governors were not happy because the country has only three testing centres and there are no testing centres in the entire 19 states of the north.

The governors insisted that each of the states must have a test and isolation centres in each state.

But speaking after the meeting, Ehanire said the governors wanted to know the cost implications of setting up the COVID-19 centres in their respective states.

The minister said that it was the governors that have pledged to set up isolation centres in their states.

“To get the story of how COVID-19 spread abroad and how it has come into Nigeria and what we have done so far. And they asked questions about our strategies, our approach and how it affects their states and our strategies and how they can have access to materials to be able to respond.

“I did not need to make an effort to remind the governors on what they should do because they all offered to play a role, which was very good. In fact they want to know the cost of building isolation centres, the cost of the equipment and the kits. And they want us to present them with them cost tomorrow. We are happy that there is such engagement by the governors.

Also briefing the meeting, the chairman of the forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said that the forum received an update on the COVID-l9 pandemic from Ehanire.

“Governors pledged to work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in every state in the country.

“After an extensive discussion of the impact of the COVID-l 9 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigerian economy and the revenues of state governments, the forum constituted a sub-committee consisting of the Governors of Kaduna (Chair), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo and Jigawa states to comprehensive ly review the trend and advice state governments on the set of actions required to address challenges in economy.”