By Bode Olushegun
Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has ordered the total lockdown of the state beginning from Wednesday.
The lockdown followed the discovery of an index case of COVID-19 on Sunday.
A nurse with the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) otherwise called Doctors Without Borders had died of the pandemic at the weekend.
The governor, in a statewide broadcast, also ordered the probe of the index case which had likely exposed over hundred others to the sickness.
The governor in the broadcast, said: “Last night (Sunday), the National Centre for Disease Control confirmed an index case of Covid-19, otherwise known as corona virus, in our dear state which took the live of one of us.
“Until his unfortunate death, the late health worker dedicated himself to providing humanitarian healthcare services to fellow citizens that were critically affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Borno state will forever be grateful for his services. We are also profoundly grateful to all healthcare service providers, whose dedication to saving lives, will now be needed more than we ever did.”
He said: “All over the world, healthcare workers are now adored more than before. And this is because, they are putting their lives on the line in trying to save others.
“We hold our health workers very dearly and for this reason, I am worried about the manner in which the index Covid-19 case in Borno State, was handled.
“In the handling of that case, we have been confronted with not only losing a healthcare service provider but also exposing at least 100 persons to risk of infection.
“I am certain that with the manner in which the deceased gave commitment to humanitarian services, it could never have been his will to expose citizens, he worked hard to protect.”
He said: “I am setting up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outbreak and handling of the index case in Borno State.”
He said: “With our 11-year burden of dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency and its mortal impacts, the coming of Covid-19 amounts to having fresh pepper on fresh injury. “
Zulum said notwithstanding the dangers posed by Covid-19, its solution , according to him, remained prevention.
He said though about 100 persons had been traced and testing administered, it did not amount to about 100 cases of coronavirus.
He said: “In the exercise of the powers conferred on me, I have signed an executive order, declaring Covid-19 a dangerous disease.
“For this, I am hereby directing a lockdown that will require cessation of all movements in Borno State for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 10:30pm on Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2020.
“All citizens in Borno State are to stay in their homes. This means all public gatherings are restricted while offices and businesses in Borno State are to be fully closed during this period. Security and intelligence agencies have been briefed for enforcement.”
He promised that: “Government will use this period of restriction to accelerate the tracing and isolation of persons who have been in contact with the index case.”