Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, governor of Kwara, says special reward will be given to health workers for their efforts in fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Nigeria has confirmed 53,021 cases of COVID-19, out of which 40,281 persons have recovered while 1,010 deaths have been recorded.
Data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that with 945 cases as of Wednesday, Kwara is the 14th state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Speaking during an impromptu visit to the state’s infectious disease centre, Abdulrazaq said the health workers have maintained an impressive performance in handling the pandemic.
He commended the workers for their efforts to save humanity, saying no allowance could fully compensate them for their work, sacrifice and commitment.
The governor added that the health workers will be specially rewarded at the end of pandemic.
“On behalf of the state and humanity, I am here to thank you for what you do. It is not about allowances. You are one of the best COVID-19 teams in Nigeria. We are following what you are doing and I am here to commend you for your selfless service. You volunteered even before we planned to give special allowances,” he said.
“We really appreciate what you are doing. You put your lives at risk and that of your families to take up this job. Just as we give special allowances, we will give you special reward when COVID-19 is over. We need to renew the campaign on COVID-19 because the assumption is that COVID-19 is over and everybody is going about their normal businesses.
“That is a mistake because the figure doesn’t show that. People are falling ill by the day and we need to ramp up our testing so that we know where exactly we stand. I know that most of the cases are from contact tracing.”
The governor said the state has tested 4,000 persons, but intends to test a total of 20,000 people.
He called on members of the public to support medical efforts by following provided guidelines to further curb the spread of the virus.
“Now we need to enter another phase where we need to go to the public and test people. We have tested over 4,000 people. We want to be in the position to test at least 20,000. That’s where we are going,” he said.
“Some of the patients have left here. They are thankful but they are not speaking loud enough to thank you for what you have done. Government is spending a lot of money. COVID-19 patients don’t spend any money (diagnosis, management by best professionals, food) and they leave without (in their own way) letting the world know what you were doing for them and how you were taking care of them.
“So, on their behalf, and the citizens of this state, we appreciate you very much. And our message is that people must wear the mask. If they don’t wear the mask and obey other protocols, it is a disservice to your work and what you are doing. So, we’ll continue to push the message and with this we can stop the infection. I urge everybody to wear the mask all the time, maintain social distancing and other NCDC guidelines.”
In his remarks, Oluwatosin Fakayode, head of public health department in the state’s ministry of health, commended the governor for the visit.
He said the such gesture will encourage workers and boost their morale to work.
“The motivation you have given to us is immeasurable — coming to appreciate the frontline workers. This is a morale booster and we can only assure you that we will double our efforts to ensure that in Kwara we flatten the curve and ensure that people stop dying,” Fakayode said.
“As at today, our case fatality rate is 2.6 percent. This looks like a small figure but to the families that have lost their loved ones, this is 100 percent mortality for these families. Our work is to ensure that nobody dies of COVID-19 and this we can only do by early detection and this can be by improving our testing.
“Our plan is to set up testing centres in all the LGAs of the state. In the coming weeks, we will fully reach the target of one percent population of Kwara. By then, we will fully know the real burden.”