Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Borno State Government has offered an explanation for why cases of COVID-19 are on the increase in the state despite efforts to contain its spread.
Commissioner for Health Dr Salihu KwayaBura at a press conference on Thursday in Maiduguri said most of the new cases of the virus are people who broke the interstate travel restriction order, moving from high-risk states into Borno.
‘Ordinarily, epidemiologists would have not recorded most of these new cases for Borno because most of them are from high-risk areas who travelled into the state by breaking the restriction order in place,’ KwayaBura, who is also the secretary of the state COVID-19 Response and Control team, said.
He attributed the surge in the cases to increased sample collection and testing, adding that the state has improved on its testing capacity.
He described the decrease in observance of the COVID-19 measures by the people as natural but warned of the negative impact.
‘What seems to be a waning interest is actually a human response to catastrophe which often reduces when people get used to the situation,’ the said.
He explained that many Nigerians were scared of the pandemic at the early stage of its outbreak but appear not to show much interest now. He urged the public not to forget the warning of World Health Organization (WHO) on an impending second wave of the pandemic.
While commenting on the efforts of the state government to improve health services and facilities in the past year, the commissioner highlighted that the state governor, Babagana Zulum, had introduced free dialysis procedures for kidney disease patients three months into his term.
He said the intervention has helped many patients to defray the cost of handling their condition. He, however, added that patients still bear the cost of drugs and other treatments. The government, he said, built and completed 19 Primary Healthcare centres in 15 of the 27 local government areas, while 28 others in 13 LGAs are undergoing construction.
In his remark, Commissioner of Information Alhaji Babakura Jatto said the state governor has demonstrated a ‘zeal for service, concern for the people in all his activities in the last one year’ as he appealed for more support and unity in the years ahead.