Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has relaxed the two weeks lockdown imposed on Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state, barely a week into it.
Bello insisted the state remained COVID-19 free.
Bello made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the Government House, Lokoja, on Friday.
He said the decision to relax the lockdown was informed by timely completion of contact-tracing and cooperation of the people.
The governor said with relaxation of the lockdown, the state residents would be free to go back to their businesses and live normal lives.
He said a medical team, led by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu, had collected samples from people suspected to have had contact with the alleged COVID-19 victims, adding that the result of their tests returned negative.
Bello said samples collected during the lockdown and contact-tracing would be sent to the National Centre for Disease Control for further tests to corroborate the result of the medical team that conducted the exercise.
He said: “We have concluded contact-tracing, carried out extensive tests on the members of the family, and they all came back negative.
“As far as we are concerned, the state is free from COVID-19.”
On the state’s COVID-19 index case allegedly discovered by the NCDC, Bello said there was need for the centre to be more professional in handling suspected cases.
“While we have no reason to doubt the professional competence of the centre, we call for more professionalism in handling the issue of the pandemic,” he said.
The governor expressed appreciation to security agencies in the state for helping to enforce the lockdown without reports of molestation from the people.
“I want to place on record the appreciation of the state government to the people of Kabba-Bunu for their cooperation, and security agencies who encouraged it without any incident of molestation,” he said.
He urged the residents of the state to abide by all the protocols laid down by the World Health Organisation and NCDC to protect lives.