The federal government has placed Oyo, Kano, Edo, and Osun states under special watch as the fight against COVID-19 continues in the country.
The decision to place Oyo state under special watch is coming after several stakeholders in the appealed to the federal government to give the state special attention in the fight against the pandemic due to the number of cases recorded in the state.
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, stated that it would pay particular attention to Oyo and the three other states as it revs up its collaboration with state governments in the battle to halt spread of the virus.
It, however, did not disclose the type of special help it will render these states but OYOINSIGHT.COM recalled that the federal government doled out N10 billion to Lagos State, which is the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, with almost 300 cases.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Boss Mustapha, and National Coordinator Dr. Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this during the daily briefing by PTF in Abuja on Tuesday, also explained that the special focus on the four states would centre on helping them coordinate their anti-COVID-19 activities and intervention in “non-pharmaceutical” areas.
Aliyu said: “We do note the concern about increased reporting of cases and we are closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo states. And with particular concern, Kano State . We have engaged closely with the state government.
”Over the weekend, we engaged directly with the State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, and virtually over the last two days, I have been talking to people in Kano to find out what is going on.
“It is not very clear whether the report that we are getting is actually captured or not, but they have set up a team that will be looking at investigating this further.”
He stressed that the task force “will continue to engage state governments on the pandemic responses by providing necessary assistance to ensure adequate sensitisation.”
Mustapha, who announced the immediate distribution of medical equipment and consumables to states, said: “There is obvious need to support the states in strengthening coordination across board; more guidance should be provided in the area of non-pharmaceutical interventions; particular attention is to be focused on some states with heavy burden, particularly, Kano; and priority is being placed on Intensive state level support.
“I am pleased to inform you that as part of the support to the states, the PTF has approved the distribution plans for medical equipment and consumables available in stock to the states.
“The physical distribution shall commence immediately. This will be in addition to the Jack Ma equipment and materials already shared to the states.
“While the PTF continues to assess the impact of the lockdown preparatory to the submission of a report to Mr. President, we have observed general compliance with the restrictions.”
He also praised the “media for the tremendous support we continue to receive” and “our frontline health workers for their professionalism and hard work.”