COVID-19: Niger to collect samples of cabinet, task force members for virus test

Niger State Task Force Team on COVID-19 has said that all cabinet and the thirty-five members of the team would be tested for the novel coronavirus.

The state Chairman, COVID-19, Alh. Ahmed Matane, who made the disclosure shortly after a meeting with members of the State House of Assembly ad hoc committee on COVID-19 task force activities in Minna, stated that if anyone of them tests positive for the disease, he or she will be quarantined and treated.

He said that steps are being taken because of their active involvement in the campaign of curbing the spread of the virus in the state.

” If any of them tests positive, we will quarantine and give treatment. This is because, the virus is still very much around and if you don’t catch it now, you can catch it tomorrow. Some of us have done the test and it turned out negative. ”

On the refusal of the House committee on COVI-19 to question the team on its expenditure as earlier fixed for today, (Monday) Matane said the team would as requested by the Committee ensure that the entire 35 members appear before it on Thursday.

According to him, ”The Committee is made of people both within and outside government and all members are important but, since, the Assembly says everybody must be around, we will ensure that we all come on Thursday. Especially, those key officers mentioned within government that we have powers on, we will make them come.”

Earlier, during the sitting, headed by Chairman of the committee led by Hon. Maliki Madaki Bosso, representing Bosso Constituency, the members refused to ask questions on its expenditure, demanding why out of 35 members, only nine came.

They moved that the meeting be shifted to Thursday to enable all the 35 members to be part of the meeting, even as the members claimed that the actual monies spent on curbing the pandemic are not known as some MDAs spent money without recourse to the team.

They complained that nothing would be achieved at the interface without the presence of some key personnel, who they believe can respond adequately to questions on the issue at hand.

“Mr. Chairman, the personnel from your side is scanty and those around may not be able to give answers to relevant questions. And, if they, especially, Commissioners for Health, Education and Transport are not around, we cannot achieve anything in this meeting. So, we move that the meeting be adjourned to Thursday,” they stated.

It would be recalled that the task force team was supposed to appear before the committee, last week Tuesday to clarify some areas on the presentation made by the chairman particularly, on how the sum of N795,015,000 was spent during the lockdown to curtail the spread of the disease, but it failed to turn up.

The meeting was subsequently rescheduled for today, Monday.

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