By Yakubu Uba
Maiduguri – Gov. Babagana Zulum has urged people of the Borno to consider the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as more deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency.
Addressing the state in a broadcast on Monday, Zulum said the pandemic was another trying and difficult period in the state which required pragmatic and preventive measures to address.
“This time we are faced with a more sinister and more deadly threat as a result of the covid 19 pandemic, which has been exponentially spreading across the world, with no cure or curative treatment.
“The best way to avert this virus is to initiate and implement pragmatic and workable preventive measures and containment strategies.
“The Federal Government has already put in place a number of preventive measures across the nation, but more specifically in Lagos and Abuja which have higher rates of confirmed cases of the virus, to stop the pandemic from further spread.
“Quite a number of state Governments have also implemented containment strategies to stop the corona virus from either reaching their states or spreading further within the state,” Zulum said
He said that in Borno state, the government had also adopted a number of preventive measures to contain the virus, based on the recommendations of the high-powered response and containment committee, headed by the Deputy Governor.
Zulum said some of the measure which would last for an initial period of two weeks include the directive to civil servant from Grade level 12 downward to stay and work from home.
“All shops in organised business areas are to provide hand washing and temperature monitoring devices in their premises, and also ensure social distancing. Otherwise, their shops will be closed.
“All Banks operating in the state capital as well as organisations with Biometric attendance equipment, must provide hand washing stations and hand sanitizers for their customers and not allow more than 15 persons at a time.
“They must also ensure 24 – hour activation of all their ATM points.
“Restrictions is hereby imposed on the number of passengers in all types of public transport; thus three passengers and the driver in a car; two passengers and the rider in tricycle or keke NAPEP and Ten passengers and the driver in buses.
“All passengers and vehicular movement into the state are also banned as from Tuesday 31st of March; except vehicles conveying food items, medical supplies, humanitarian goods and fuel supplies.
“The Biometric and data capturing exercise for Local Government staffs have been suspended for the next two weeks
“All schools, whether public or private, have been closed until further notice.
” People are advised to avoid unnecessary social gatherings,” Zulum said
The governor explained that the measures are interim in nature and may be reviewed at the end of the two-week period, depending on the prevailing circumstances at the time.
“We have been through harrowing and excruciating times during the peak of Boko Haram insurgency. I am sure we will also endure the current situation.
“I therefore appeal to everyone to remain calm and abide by all the instructions and guidelines given by health personnel in respect of the coronavirus.
“More importantly, people must intensify prayers in order to avert this deadly calamity,” he said.