The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organization have commended the Ogun State Government on its willingness to go an extra mile at ensuring that the State was fully ready to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director General, NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu made this known when he visited Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, alongside the Country Director, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Fiona Braka in the Governor’s country home, Iperu-Remo.
She declared that the Centre for Disease Control was willing to work with the State Government in its quest to battle the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that the Centre believed the State deserved to benefit from some of the most stringent support that the Centre could offer.
“I think what I have seen in Ogun today and over the past few weeks in my engagement with the Commissioner is a willingness to go the extra mile. For us, the job is half done, so on behalf of the National Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation, we are committed to supporting you. You have been on this journey longer than any other state in the country, so you deserve some of the most stringent support that we have,” he said.
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who also noted that it was a bit difficult to put a stop to social gathering because the country was a social country, urged the the State Government to communicate with the people in a way that they would take ownership and responsibility for the changes in the lifestyle they would have to adopt.
“We are a social people, a social country…we love interaction, being close to each other, hugging each other, celebrating each other, our weddings, our social events, football…all these are things that define who we are and giving up on all of that for longer periods of time will come with some pain. That is really where your leadership skills will be so needed…yourself and other leaders in the State, to communicate with the people in a way that they would take ownership and responsibility for the changes in the lifestyle they will have to adopt,” he said.
In her remarks, the Country Director, World Health Organisation, Dr. Fiona Braka applauded the State Government for having the capacity that could take in more patients, adding that the WHO was impressed with the State Government.
“We are so much impressed and would like to congratulate Your Excellency and your team that has been working very hard. We could not join you for the launching of those isolation facilities…thank you for the invitation. But we are here to see what you have done. We leave with a positive note that there is capacity in Ogun State to take more patients, so congratulations, Ogun State,” she said.
In his remarks, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abidoun disclosed that the State was fully set to tackle the pandemic, adding that the State was set to begin the process of giving face masks to its people as soon as it received the first batch of a million pieces.
Abiodun, while disclosing that all the State government had been able to do in, terms of setting up isolation centres and a molecular laboratory was through self help, called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of his administration, so that more could be acheived.