By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Commissioner for Health, Pharmacist Ahmed Baba Yahaya, has said the state is yet to record community spread of the coronavirus, with all the positive COVID-19 positive cases traced to people outside the state.
Pharmacist Yahaya stated this during a joint press briefing, shortly after the monthly state executive council meeting, which held at the Government House, on Thursday.
According to the Commissioner, Nasarawa State, which recorded 12 positive cases, including one death, has continued to unfold effective strategies towards curbing the further spread of the pandemic, with community infection not yet recorded in the state.
This is just as the state government has pleaded with striking local government workers to resume work immediately.
Commenting on the recent strike embarked upon by local government workers in the state, state Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Yusuf A. Turaki, described the decision as hasty and in total neglect of laid down procedures.
While noting that the local government areas are enjoying full autonomy, Turaki advised the striking workers to consult their local government chairmen to resolve any issue in respect to the payment of salaries.
Speaking on the efforts being put in place by the state government to curtail further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Commissioner outlined some of the measures to include, maintaining isolation and quarantine centres at the local government level, training of health personnel, including owners of private clinics.
“We are synergizing to make sure that even private clinic owners, are also to be trained, with the NYSC and other volunteers,” he stated.
Pharmacist Yahaya disclosed plans to embark on contact tracing across all the three senatorial zones of the state.
In his remarks, state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Associate Professor Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana, lamented that LG workers, especially health workers, who are part of the essential service, failed to turn up at their place of work Thursday morning.
Associate Prof. Kana said the action of the council workers rendered the borders of the state porous, where they are supposed to be stationed to check individuals coming into the state, to ensure that the state is not infiltrated by COVID-19 patients.
“The health workers at the border areas, who are all LG workers, are also supposed to assist the security forces in intercepting individuals who are coming in and taking them to holding centres in order to confirm that they are not infected with covid-19.
“Unfortunately, without adequate notice, and at such a time as now, they have abandoned their duty post. The government has not received formal and proper notice of strike by these workers,” the Justice Commissioner said.
He reiterated that if the LG workers have labour issues, they should have channelled their grievances through the council chairmen, as well as the parent ministry, instead of embarking on strike at such critical moment.
“The council is calling upon the LG workers, especially those that are supposed to be on essential service, to protect the people of Nasarawa State, to immediately return to work,” Associate Prof. Kana stated.