*Governor inaugurates committee to tackle disease
By Abraham Olatokunbo
As coronavirus continues to spread across the nation, Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has ordered that all schools in the state should be closed in the next one week
The governor also on Friday inaugurated a high-powered response team for prevention and control of coronavirus.
The team which is headed by the state deputy governor, Umar Kadafur, has the commissioner of health, Salihu Kwaya-Bura as secretary.
The team, which immediately commenced work. has members from all known stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally.
Members are drawn from World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations’ Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Agency (UNHCR), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), international non governmental Organizations (iNGOs) involved in humanitarian interventions.
Also members of the committee, which has the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. Babagana Wakil as the Vice Chairman are drawn from other bodies including the Maiduguri International Airport, the Nigerian Immigration Service, Borno State Emergency Management Agency and the state’s ministries of health, education, transport and local government and emirate affairs, with two special advisers to the Governor on sustainable development, partnerships and humanitarian affairs and that of public relations and strategy, included.
The Governor had inaugurated the committee at the Musa Usman Secretariat in Maiduguri after he received a technical response plan adopted by a multi-stakeholder group made up of UN agencies, federal establishments and affected ministries which met with the Chief of Staff, Dr Babagana Wakil, on Thursday during which they came up with a response plan after critical review of the state.
The team is to fully implement the response plan of the state government to combat the virus.
At the inauguration, the governor thanked members of the team for the work they have already started, but however tasked them to ensure that very firm measures are deployed to tighten access to IDP camps where one case can trigger wild fire effect with adverse consequences.
He also tasked the commissioner of education and the chairman of the state universal education to change the academic calendar by bringing exams backward so that schools can close within one week instead of the scheduled two weeks closure.
The governor said: “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 local government areas.”