COVID 19: Borno IDPs Camps on Lockdown

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By Michael Olugbode

All internally displaced persons camps in Borno state are on lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state.

The lockdown announced by the state government on Monday, imposes a four-week ban on visitors to all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the state, and it is one of the state’s strategy to containing the outbreak of the virus in the state.

The governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum had last week appointed the state’s deputy governor, Umar Kadafur to chair a high powered multi-stakeholder response team for coronavirus.

In the team are 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.

The lockdown on IDPs camps was announced by Chairperson of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA), Hajiya Yabawa Kolo who is a member of the Response Team appointed by the governor.

Kolo announced the ban during a meeting with 51 camp managers on Monday in Maiduguri.

According to her, the state took the decision as one of the strategies to prevent the transfer of the virus between the camps and the larger society with its associated dangers.

She said the measure became necessary as some of the neighbouring countries like Chad Republic and Cameroon had recorded suspected cases.

She lamented that despite closure of the borders by the neighbouring countries, there was still 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 record 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.