The Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has said his government has no option than to enforce stringent measures to tackle COVID-19 in the state.
This was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Ismaila Misilli, on Tuesday.
The NCDC had on Monday announced the confirmation of five index cases of coronavirus in the state.
The governor, who further gave the confirmation while addressing journalists shortly before a meeting with the state traditional council, regretted the reported cases.
He, however, called for calm saying his government will spare no resources and efforts to ensure the safety of the people of the state.
He said three of the coronavirus patients have already been taken to the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe while the fourth is currently being traced in Arawa quarters, a suburban area of Gombe metropolis.
He said the fifth, an indigene of Biu Local Government Area has since been handed over to officials of the Borno State Ministry of Health.
The governor stated that despite efforts by his administration to curtail the possible spread of the coronavirus into the state, “it is disheartening to see the state record five index cases of the virus in the state”.
He said contacts of the index cases will be traced, isolated and tested.
He appealed to traditional and religious leaders in the state to be more decisive in enlightening their subjects on the dangers of flouting the border closure directive and other preventive measures reeled out by the authorities.
“The spread of the COVID-19 among the populace can only be tackled if people strictly comply with preventive measures outlined by the government and health experts,” he said.
The governor urged media organisations in the state to desist from promoting activities that could attract mass gatherings of people, saying any abuse of ethical standard of journalism on COVID-19 will be reported to National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) for necessary sanctions.
He lamented that the compromising of the border closure by some security operatives and community members was responsible for the index cases recorded in Gombe.
“We plan to engage indigenous hunters, vigilante, as well as aid groups of religious organisations under close supervision of the traditional rulers whom we believe are familiar with all the terrains of their respective communities to ensure our borders are protected,” he added.
He said borders with other states will remain closed, while punitive measures will be taken against any large crowd found in the state.
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