From SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has inaugurated a high-powered Response Team for prevention and control of coronavirus in the state.
The committee is headed by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Umar Kadafur, with the State Commissioner of Health as Secretary.
The inauguration took place at Musa Usman Secretariat in Maiduguri on Friday after Governor Zulum received the technical Response Plan adopted by a multi-stakeholder group made up of UN Agencies, federal establishments and affected ministries who on Thursday met with the Chief of Staff, Dr Babagana Wakil, during which they came up with the plan after critical review of the state.
The committee has since commenced work and is expected to reconvene on March 28, as well to fully implement the Plan, with Wakil as the Vice Chairman.
Among other members of the committee are senior officials of World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UN-OCHA, IOM, ICRC, international Non-Governmental Organizations (iNGOs) involved in humanitarian interventions in the state. They also include heads of Maiduguri International Airport, Nigerian Immigration Service, Borno State Emergency Management Agency and Commissioners for Education, Higher Education, Information, Transport, Finance, Religious Affairs, Local Government and Emirate Affairs, as well as the Special Advisers on Sustainable Development, Partnerships and Humanitarian Affairs and that of Public Relations and Strategy.
Chairman of the committee, while thanking members of the committee for the work they have already started, however tasking them to ensure that very firm measures were deployed to clean and sanitize IDPs camps where a case can trigger wild fire effect with adverse consequences at the camps.
Kadafur also charged the State Commissioner of Education and Chairman of the Borno State Universal Education (BOSUBEB) to change the academic calendar of all the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions by bringing examination time-table backward so that schools can close within one week, instead of the scheduled date, in order for the schools to close in two weeks’ time.
“If we are to close schools, what do we do with IDP camps which is far less organized than schools? I am aware that our schools have two weeks to close but we should change the calendar and close in one week.
“But even at that, we must take serious measures in all schools and more importantly in our IDP camps and in land border communities where people can come into Nigeria through some of our LGAs,” Kadafur said.