By Ese Awhotu
Borno Deputy Governor, Umar Usman Kadafur has lamented that some citizens in the state doubt the existence of Covid-19 also known as Coronavirus, in the same manner Boko Haram was initially underrated.
Kadafur, who is the chairman of the State high powered response team for the prevention and control of Covid 19 pandemic stated this, while responding to newsmen at a daily Media update on the pendamic held at the goverment house, Maiduguri.
He observed that it’s highly regretful, despite the increasing rate of spread of the pandemic, large number of people in the state do not believe the existence of the virus, noting that, it is rather unfortunate that lot of people participated in burial ceremonies and observed congregational prayers against the rules of social distancing.
“When Boko Haram started, a lot people felt it was something not to be taken seriously, until when it consumed everybody. This covid-19 is another Boko Haram coming, and yet people don’t believe it’s real. I keep saying it’s real. As a response team we’ll continue telling the general public and reaching out with advocacy” Kadafur said.
The Borno Deputy Governor, noted that the state Government is establishing another isolation center in the state. He said that his committee is working round the clock to establish a new Isolation Centre, as the two existing ones at Ngarannam and that of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in the metropolis have been filled to 50% capacity.
The high powered committees on Covid-19 and number of partners have engaged in serious meetings on the establishment of the new isolation center in the past two days, which makes it very difficult for him to attend the daily Media briefings in the recent days.
Kadafur, also lamented that despite the best the response team is doing, there are some people out there who want to discredit not only the state response team, but the whole nations.
“Even if I’m to be infected, I have to be taken there, so we’ll have to put in our best, And as far as I’m concerned, the response team is doing it’s best and we’ll do our best towards that. I want to urge all and sundry to believe that the virus is real and have no cure yet,” Said Kadafur who also made a passionate appeal to the Media and the general public to know how the committee is doing.
The deputy Governor also reitetrated his commitments towards ensuring the committee continues to sensitize the general public and take the advocacy to wherever necessary on the covid-19 pendamic.
“As a leader, I’ll not be deterred from what I’m doing, and as a committee we’ll continue to sensitize the general public and take the advocacy to wherever necessary to call the attention of the people.” Said Kadafur.
On the issue of the viral audio of the wife of the late Member of the Borno state house of assembly, representing Nganzai Hon Wakil, the Deputy Governor said the audio couldn’t have been from her, or if it’s from her it’s rather unfortunate. Because the deputy Governor said he’s in contact with the late Member and the deputy speaker of the house even before the deceased was taken to the hospital.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of health, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura revealed that, in the last 48 hours, 16 Medical health workers has been affected by the covid-19 pandamic.
He also advised the citizens to maintain the NCDC guidelines of hand washing, personal hygiene, social distancing, and avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Dr. Kwayabura further urged the residents to wear face masks when leaving their homes, and wash their hands when they return.
The daily media update has been rescheduled to be holding every Monday and Thursday going forward. This is to enable the committee gather more information to give out, rather than holding daily update with no clear cut information, this was also announced by the state Commissioner of information Mujahid Babakura Abba Jato.
He however said that, should there be any emergency situation that the public need to be informed, an extra media update will be summoned.