From: SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
The Borno state Response Committee on covid-19 has commenced body temperature screening for all persons entering Maiduguri by road.
The exercise, which is aimed at helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the state, began simultaneously at all entry points into the capital city on Sunday.
Chairman of the committee and deputy governor of the state, Usman Umar Kadafur, said at the flag off, which took place at the Jimtilo checkpoint along Maiduguri-Jos road, that due to the closure of the Airports, many people are coming into the state by road, hence the need to heighten the state’s surveillance on land travellers, to check the spread of the covid-19.
His words: “The Borno State Government, in collaboration with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, embarked on the exercise as part of the measures and mechanisms we decided to put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
“This measure of checking people’s temperatures and ensuring hand washing at the entry points to Maiduguri city has become necessary with the nature of the spread of the virus. We want to ensure that nobody comes into the state with the virus and so far we have not recorded any case.
“We have since been checking the temperatures of those coming to Maiduguri through the Airport and ensuring they wash their hands before leaving the airport from the arrival wing. Now that the airport is closed, we felt that people coming into Maiduguri by road should also be subjected to the same screening because our people travel a lot by road.”
The Deputy Governor added that because the state has many internally displaced persons and three international borders with Cameroon, Niger and Chad, it was necessary to take precautionary and preventive measures to safeguard the lives of residents.
Also speaking, the state commissioner for health, Aliyu Salihu Kwaya Bura, told journalists that it became imperative for the committee to embark on such exercise in order to prevent the influx of the covid-19 into the state through the roads.
“We deemed it fit and neccessary to test the temperatures of all those coming into the city through our four major routes, namely, Njimtilo entry, Muna garage entry, Maimalari /Shagari low-cost entry and Dalari entry. On all these roads our men and structures have been put in place to ensure that everybody coming into Maiduguri city is tested and sanitised,” the commissioner said.
Speaking at the event also, the state commissioner for transport, Abubakar Tijjani, disclosed that the government had held meetings with the union of transport workers and other stakeholders to sensitize them on the exercise.
The state secretary of the road transport employers association, Bulama Adamu, told newsmen that the association was in full support of the exercise.