Kwara Government Applauds Public Support for Covid-19 Fight.

Kwara State Government has expressed gratitude to organisations and individuals for contributing to its fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The Deputy Governor and Chairman Kwara State Covid-19 Technical Committee, Mr Kayode Alabi, appreciated the donor on Saturday while receiving two motorised modular fumigators from the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II to assist the government in the battle against the spread of Coronavirus.

Mr Alabi thanked the royal father for contributing to the Covid-19 fight and described him as illustrious, intelligent, and selfless, given his decision to commit personal resources to help humanity.

According to him, the partnership and support of various individuals and organisations boosted the state government’s COVID-19 intervention in a significant way, as the government cannot win the battle alone.

Speaking through Oba Muraina Adedinu Asoya of Isoya kingdom, who represented him, the Ooni of Ife commended the effort of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in the fight against the pandemic. According to him, the donation of two modular fumigators was to complement the state government’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ooni affirmed that it was time people took the pandemic seriously, adding that disinfection of offices, schools and the environment was key to halting the spread of the virus. The Monarch, therefore, promised to continue to contribute his quota towards the development of the country and charged individuals to join hands with the government in the fight against COVID-19.

Earlier, Prof Olapeju Esimai,
Head of Public Health Department, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife and Chairman of Ooni of Ife Covid 19 Response Team explained that the locally-made fumigators are environmentally-friendly and efficient in fighting Coronavirus and similar viruses in the community.

Modupe Joel
Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor
June 28 2020.

COVID-19: Fumigation no precondition for reopening worship centres: Kwara Govt

• Muslim leaders hail govt’s openness, sincerity

Kwara State Government on Wednesday said fumigation of mosques or churches and mandatory use of thermometers are not preconditions for reopening of worship centres, saying people of all ages can go worship once they abide by the safety protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The clarifications came at a meeting the government held with the Ad-hoc Committee of the Kwara State Council of Ulamah (set up by the Emir of Ilorin) in Ilorin, the state capital, ahead of the official reopening of Jumat services across the state.

The meeting was presided over by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, who was flanked by other top government officials.

At the meeting were the Imam Imale of Ilorin and chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee Sheikh Abdullahi AbdulHameed; Secretary of the Council of Ulamah Justice S.O. Muhammad; Justice Idris Haroon; the Chief Imam of Offa Sheikh Muhyideen Hussain; Prof Badmus Yusuf; Dr Yusuf Jimoh Ilala; Khalifah Danfulani Modeboh; Mallam Aliu Jamiu; Dr Mrs Rhoda Ajiboye; Dr. Mrs Saudat Salah AbdulBaqi; Hajiah Risikat Lawal; and Dr Mohammed Ghali Alaya.

The meeting reiterated that mosques and churches can open and may be attended by persons of all ages and genders but with strict adherence to all safety protocols, such as the use of face masks, physical distancing among worshipers, and washing of hands, among others.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters Professor Wale Sulaiman, who spoke on behalf of the government, said that the country is not out of the woods yet given ongoing reports of COVID-19 cases, hence government’s insistence on strict adherence to all safety protocols in order to protect the citizens.

Dr Ghali, who was on the government’s advisory team, said adherence to safety protocols are all that the government has requested for, adding that purchase of infrared thermometers and fumigation of all mosques and churches is not practical majorly because of its huge economic implications.

The Imam Imale, who spoke on behalf of the Muslim community, commended the government for allowing the reopening of worship centres and for its openness and transparency in the management of the pandemic in the state.

The Imam said the delegation would convey the message of strict adherence to all safety protocols to the public through constant enlightenment — a position reiterated by the Chief Imam of Offa and other religious leaders.

“Our people are very glad about the reopening of our worship places. We also got your messages about the safety protocols and we will convey same to our people. We are also very glad about your clarification and openness with regards to the issue of thermometers and fumigation,” he added.

“On our part, we will do everything possible to making sure people comply with the safety measures.”

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/
Spokesman, Kwara State Technical Commitee on COVID-19
June 17th, 2020.

COVID-19: Kwara govt says football viewing centres cannot open

• Directs unconditional release of seized motorcycles, others

*Kwara records 17 new COVID-19 cases, discharges 5

Kwara State Government has said football viewing centres are not allowed to open yet, because such facilities could be a dangerous window for widespread transmission of the Corona virus among viewers.

On Tuesday, the state recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 168.

The state also discharged five patients who have twice tested negative to the virus, bringing the tally of patients already managed and discharged to 100.

“The government is aware that the English Premier League commences tomorrow, Wednesday June 17th. This is to state clearly that viewing centres are not allowed to open under any guise during this pandemic. Doing so will actively promote the spread of the virus, endanger people’s lives, and further stretch public resources to the limit,” Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to the Governor and spokesman of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, said in a statement.

“The government fully appreciates and apologises for the inconveniences this restriction means for some businesses and football enthusiasts. However, it has a duty to ensure that lives are protected. This cannot be compromised. The government similarly warns against mass gatherings (crowded weddings/clubbing/partying) of any kind at this time. Violators shall come under the full weight of the Kwara State Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020.”

The government meanwhile has directed that all motorcycles and other items seized during the lockdown be released to their owners without any preconditions.

“We commend the security agencies for their good work during and after the lockdown. They did and are still doing a great job, and the government is grateful to them. The seizure of motorcycles and other items at that time was a lawful way of enforcing compliance with safety measures,” the statement added.

“Following the relaxation of the lockdown, however, the government hereby directs immediate and unconditional release of those motorcycles and other items to their owners so as not to worsen the socioeconomic hardships that the pandemic has already imposed at global, national, state, and individual levels.”

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/Spokesman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19
June 16th, 2020.

Kwara loses COVID-19 patient, discharges 18 others

Kwara State on Tuesday lost another COVID-19 patient, the second casualty since the pandemic broke out in the state, a statement said early Wednesday.

The patient was a 50-year-old female with serious underlying medical conditions, according to a statement by the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19.

“We regret to announce that the patient did not make it despite the efforts of the medical personnel to save her,” the statement added. “Our heartfelt condolences go to her family. We stand by them at this trying time, and restate the need for everyone to keep safe by adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols.”

The statement also announced the discharge of 18 patients who have twice tested negative. 

“Despite the sad occurrence on Tuesday, the government is consoled by the recovery and discharge of 18 other patients. The government commends all the frontline workers who are making so much sacrifice to ensure we win this war,” it added.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/Spokesman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19
June 10th, 2020.

Kwara discharges eight COVID-19 patients*Records five new cases

Kwara State Government on Sunday discharged eight COVID-19 patients after they have twice tested negative to the virus.

That brings to 52 the total number of discharged patients in the state.

The state meanwhile has also recorded five more cases, bringing to 132 the tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the north central state.

The five cases mean that Kwara now has 79 active cases.

The state has recorded one death so far.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/Spokesman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19
June 7th, 2020

COVID-19: Kwara gives conditions as worship centres open June 5

• State discharges seven more patients

Kwara State Government on Wednesday said worship centres may reopen from Friday June 5th on the condition that they satisfy certain criteria already agreed with various religious umbrella bodies in the state.

The government however warned that the concession for churches and mosques to reopen does not mean that the state has flattened the curve of transmission of COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision came hours after the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 held a marathon meeting with the leadership of the Muslim and Christian communities, including the Jama’atu Nasrul Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“We are definitely not out of the woods as cases continue to rise especially because of violation of travel restrictions,” Kayode Alabi, Deputy Governor and Chairman of Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, told reporters late Wednesday in Ilorin.

The below is the full text of the press briefing:

Today, June 3rd, 2020, the Kwara State Government Technical Committee on COVID-19 held a meeting with various religious leaders and umbrella bodies, especially the Jama’atu Nasrul Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The meeting centred around whether or not to reopen the worship centres across the state, as suggested by the Federal Government. The below are the outcomes of the meeting:

• We are definitely not out of the woods as cases continue to rise especially because of violation of travel restrictions

• It is preferred that worship centres should remain shut until it is clear that the curve of transmission has been flattened 

• However, in line with the presidential advisory and the positions of our religious umbrella bodies in Kwara State, worship centres in Kwara State may reopen from June 5th (Friday) provided they satisfy the following conditions:

• Worship centres shall be organised (by the respective head of the congregation) in such a way that one attendant is at least one metre away from the next. 

• Each worship centre shall make provisions for hand washing or hand sanitisers, and infrared thermometer 

• Wearing of face masks shall be mandatory for all worshippers

• There shall be no hand shaking or hugging among worshippers

• Children remain restricted from worship centres. People above 65 or persons with underlying health conditions are urged to stay away from worship centres

• Muslims should perform ablution from their own houses. Ablution spots are not allowed for now to avoid the spread of the virus. 

• Muslim women are to stay away from mosques, as suggested by the leadership of the Muslim community in the state. 

• Each worship centre is to dedicate a few minutes before service or prayers to educate attendants about COVID-19 and its dangers

• Adequate ventilation is to be ensured at each worship centre

• Government’s RRT shall conduct random visit to worship centres to take samples and do temperature checks

• Government shall hold affected religious leaders responsible for non compliance with all COVID-19-related safety measures in their worship centres. This is as agreed by the religious umbrella bodies.

• Government demands full compliance with all protocols as failure to do so is a huge drain on public resources.

• The leadership of religious communities agreed that any worship centre that violates these provisions would be shut down and its leadership strictly held accountable.

• Finally, I am glad to inform you that we are again discharging seven of our COVID-19 patients who have twice tested negative. All the remaining patients are stable and doing well — thanks to the government’s efforts and the commitment of our healthcare officials who are doing so well to keep the flag flying.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/
Spokesman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19
May 3rd, 2020.

Kwara explains rising COVID cases, restates need for test centre

• Says new cases, contacts of imported patients

• Calls on security agencies to strengthen border

• To announce position on worship centres 

Kwara State Government has said the sudden peak in the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday followed a deliberate effort of the committee to contact-trace and test all persons and health workers that have had contacts with two persons that recently sneaked into the state and tested positive to the virus. 

The government added that all but one of the 23 new cases posted on Monday — the highest in a day since the outbreak — were already in isolation before the test result as they had long been identified as “persons of interest” on account of their close contacts with a pregnant woman who sneaked in from Zamfara and later tested positive.

The woman was briefly treated at the Ilorin General Hospital and later at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital where she underwent an operation and later tested positive, leading to contact tracing and testing of over 180 people.  

“Various precautionary measures have since been taken at the two hospitals, including disinfection of relevant wards, relocation of other patients to some other wards, testing of all the contacts, and a renewed emphasis on the need for healthcare workers to treat every patient as a potential COVID-19 case,” Rafiu Ajakaye, spokesman of the State Technical Committee on COVID-19, said in a statement.

“For the record, the rise in the cases was a result of government’s proactiveness in rounding up all contacts and testing all of them. Insinuations about the lack of PPEs or shortage of same are unfounded and reckless.”

The government said the 23 cases included a contact of a deceased whose corpse was brought into Kwara State from the neighbouring Ekiti State.

“The government has therefore despatched a Rapid Response Team to begin an aggressive contact tracing of the case in the affected community for another round of test,” the statement added.

“So far, 75 percent of our cases were imported. There is no record of community spread yet in Kwara. While we commend the security agencies for what they are doing, we urge them to do much more to secure our borders and prevent influx of people into the state. The new 23 cases, as many before now, were a backlash from porous borders.

“We would like to state that Kwara’s performance in COVID-19 management is one of the best in the country. As of May 30, our percentage of recoveries/discharges is 43%, far above the national average of 29%. Our percentage of mortality is 1.15%. It is well below the national average of 2.81%. The state also ranks among the best in terms of high index of suspicion as can be seen in the number of positive cases compared to the test done. For every 100 test done in Kwara, seven is positive, whereas the national average is 16 for every 100 tests done.

“Even so, the government is not taking chances. Apart from constant supplies of PPEs and designation of holdings rooms across our facilities for suspicious cases, the government has intensified engagements with hospital heads and trainings for health workers to be on top of their game. 

“In time of pandemic and other emergencies, it is a crime for anyone or entity to undermine a system put in place to protect the people. The government therefore warns that any action that purports to kill the morale of our health workers and those in the frontline of this national emergency will not be tolerated.”

The government meanwhile has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on setting up of at least a COVID-19 test centre in the state to strengthen the capacity to test more samples and urge people to come up for voluntary testing. 

The government said it is willing to offer all the necessary cooperation to ease the setting up of the facility. 

“Similarly, the government will soon announce the modalities for relaxing the lockdown order on worship centres in the state. The government sincerely commends the patience and understanding of our religious and traditional rulers while urging them to actively join the sensitisation campaign about the virus,” the statement added.

It said the government is to meet with the leadership of the Muslim and Christian communities in the state on Wednesday to fashion out the way forward on the proposed reopening of worship centres.

Rafiu Ajakaye
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor/
Spokesman, Technical Committee on COVID-19
June 3, 2020.