By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The forum made the plea in a statement issued by its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Friday in Abuja.
Fayemi said that the governors had taken note of the first case of COVID-19 case reported in Lagos on Feb. 27, and had initiated monitoring infrastructure to ensure that quick response and attention was given to anyone showing symptoms.
“Since COVID-19 was designated as a global epidemic, the state governments have been strengthening emergency response preparedness and capabilities in conjunction with the Federal Government and other agencies.
“In response to the first case reported, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has already activated its National Emergency Operations Centre and is working closely with Lagos State Ministry of Health.
“The goal is to respond to this case and implement firm control measures to prevent spread.
“As a forum of proactive Governors, we have initiated monitoring infrastructure in all states to ensure that quick response and attention is given to anyone showing symptoms of the disease.
“We encourage the citizens to self-quarantine if they notice symptoms related to the viral disease and contact the nearest health facility within the states.
“We will deploy all resources available to respond and contain further spread of the virus.”
The statement appealed to the general public to be calm and follow precautionary measures recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant government agencies.
“We also enjoin citizens not to spread fake news and misinformation that can trigger fear, panic and chaos.
“The Federal Ministry of Health and other designated Federal and State agencies will provide the relevant updates related to the disease.”
The first case in Nigeria, which is the first reported in Sub-Saharan Africa, involved an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and journeyed from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria through Istanbul, Turkey on Feb. 25.
He was also said to have spent some time in Ogun.
The patient is said to be clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is currently being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.