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General News of Monday, 23 March 2020


Borno govt bans visits to IDP camps over coronavirus fears

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State

The Borno State Government has announced a four-week ban on visitors to all Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDPs) camps in the state on Monday because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The state government made the decision to contain the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus which has infected at least 36 persons, killing one as of March 23 in Nigeria.

Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Hajiya Yabawa Kolo who is member of governor Babagana Umara Zulum's response team made the announcement during a meeting with 51 camp managers on Monday in Maiduguri.

The response team is headed by Borno's deputy governor, Umar Kadafur.

The response team is made up of all agencies of the United Nations, led by the World Health Organization and Borno’s ministries of health, education, transport, information, local governments, religious affairs and agencies involved with humanitarian affairs.

According to Kolo, the state took the decision as one of the strategies to prevent the importation of the virus at the camps into the state, adding that the measure became necessary as some of the neighbouring countries like the Chad Republic and Cameroon has recorded suspected cases.

She explained that despite the closure of the borders by the neighbouring countries, there was still an influx of IDPs into the state.

The Borno SEMA Boss directed all camp managers from Gamboru-Ngala, Damasak, Kalabalge, Banki, Bama and Monguno not to accept IDPs from any neighbouring country into their camps.

She said; "We know we have a lot of threat around us following the sighting of suspected cases of the virus in Cameroon and Chad and we have some border towns very close to those countries.

"We do not want to go to the issue of response because even in developed countries, it was difficult for them to contain this pandemic. So at our own level, we are positioning ourselves to see how best we can stop the virus from transmitting in the state" she noted.