Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Borno State government has appealed to residents not to panic over the recently reported cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Salisu Kwaya-Bura at a press briefing on Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, said the state had evolved some measures to prevent or tackle any reported case of Covid-19 before its spread.
“We have put in place a very robust output and plan should it occur in the state. We’ve been working tirelessly with our partners to ensure we tackle the situation if at all it happens here,” Kwaya-Bura said.
Many residents have expressed concern about the possible outbreak of coronavirus in Borno due to the huge presence of foreigners serving in the state as aid workers especially from Europe, America, and Asia tagged as risk region by the Federal Government mid-week.
There are about 70 United Nations bodies, international and regional humanitarian organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Borno providing humanitarian supports to about 1.8 million people displaced by over a decade of Boko Haram insurgency.
The health commissioner said government has taken note of people’s concern but appealed to them not to panic.
“Since 2nd March, we’ve been conducting daily screening especially at our airport. We’ve activated our surveillance on all diseases control including even polio,” he explained.
He said aside surveillance, the Ministry of Health has activated the 100-capacity bed isolation centre initially designated for Lassa fever in the state capital. “We’ve upgraded our isolation centre at Brig Gen Mamman Shuwa Health Centre in Maiduguri,” he disclosed.
He said the ministry in collaboration with some international health partners including World Health Organisation (WHO) has also trained medical personnel on management of coronavirus patients. He said concern at IDPs camps is also receiving attention by the state public health managers. “We’ve taken specific steps to prevent a possible occurrence, to ensure people in these places are adequately protected,” he said.
Nigeria currently reported eight cases of Coronavirus out of 222, 942 cases reported worldwide. A total of 8, 993 persons have also been killed by the pandemic while 85, 862 recovered after treatment, a report by WHO said.