Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum has commenced the distribution of food items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable residents in the state as palliatives to cushion the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
Zulum, flagging-off the food distribution exercise on Saturday, said the relief is targeted at about 60,000 households estimated at nearly 300,000 persons.
“We are here to flag-off the distribution as palliative for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other measures shall be followed and be communicated to the public,” Zulum disclosed.
He said the food items meant for IDPs and vulnerable persons included 15,000 bags of rice, 15,000 bags of Sorghum, 15,000 bags of maize flour and 14,000 bags of millet as well as vegetable oil, all provided by the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) and the Government of Borno State.
Speaking to journalists after an assessment of the level of compliance of the 14-day lockdown, the governor commended residents for their patriotism and sacrifices. He said the government was aware of the discomfort the restriction would have caused the people.
He said that plans were underway to give a two days break from the lockdown to allow people to go out to get some essential needs.
“We are looking at the possibility of relaxing the restriction on Monday and Thursday to allow people go out and buy what they need,” the governor stated. He, however, said he was concerned about the COVID-19 cases in the state.
Borno has recorded 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, with two deaths.
Major measures instituted by the state to prevent the further spread of the virus in the community include social distancing, regular handwashing and personal hygiene, according to the health advisory of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).