Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno has ordered a 14-day lockdown in the state over COVID-19, after the state on Friday recorded its index case and eventual first death – a health worker who had shown symptoms of the disease before she died.
In a statewide broadcast on Tuesday, Zulum said he was worried over the way the index case was handled because about a hundred people may have been exposed to the virus.
The lockdown takes effect from 10:30pm Wednesday.
He said, “We hold our health workers very dearly and for this reason, I am worried about the manner in which the index COVID-19 case in Borno state was handled.
“In the handling of that case, we have been confronted with not only losing a healthcare service provider but also exposing at least 100 persons to risk of infection. I am certain that with the manner in which the deceased gave commitment to humanitarian services, it could never have been his will to expose citizens he worked hard to protect.
“I am setting up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outbreak and handling of the index case in Borno state.
“In the exercise of the powers conferred on me, I have signed an executive order declaring COVID-19 a dangerous disease. For this, I am hereby directing a lockdown that will require cessation of all movements in Borno state for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 10:30pm on Wednesday, 22nd of April, 2020.
“All citizens in Borno state are to stay in their homes. This means all public gatherings are restricted while offices and businesses in Borno state are to be fully closed during this period. Security and intelligence agencies have been briefed for enforcement. Government will use this period of restriction to accelerate the tracing and isolation of persons who have been in contact with the index case.”
Zulum however, said the restriction will not apply to providers of essential services.