Sixteen health workers have been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 48 hours in Borno, the state government has announced.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Salisu Kwayabura, revealed this at the daily media update on the pandemic on Saturday at the Government House in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He advised the citizens to maintain the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to curb the spread of the disease.
Dr Kwayabura urged the residents to wear face masks when leaving their homes and wash their hands as soon as they return.
He also asked them to maintain personal hygiene, keep social distancing, and avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The commissioner disclosed that the daily media update has been rescheduled to hold on Monday and Thursday going forward.
According to him, this is to enable the state response team on the prevention and control of COVID-19 to gather more facts and avoid holding daily updates with no clear-cut information.
Dr Kwayabura, however, said an extra media update would be summoned should there be any emergency that the public needed to be informed about.
Earlier, the Borno State Deputy Governor, Umar Kadafur, decried that some citizens in the state still doubt the existence of COVID-19 in the same manner, which Boko Haram was initially underrated.
He stated that despite the increasing rate of infection, many people attend burial ceremonies and observed congregational prayers against the rules of social distancing.
“When Boko Haram started, a lot of people felt it was something not to be taken seriously, until when it consumed everybody,” said Kadafur who is the chairman of the committee.
He added, “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.”
The deputy governor revealed that the state government would establish another isolation centre in the state, saying 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.
“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 its best and we’ll do our best towards that.
“I want to urge all and sundry to believe that the virus is real and has no cure yet,” Kadafur said.