COVID-19: Borno Confirms 257 cases, discharges 135 patients at heroes Campaigns

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Damaturu
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Unfortunately, 51 days after the index case was confirmed in Lagos, Borno announced its first case of COVID-19 on the 19th April 2020 but today, the laboratory at UMTH has tested 0ver 1000 cases primary samples.

Out of the over 1000 cases, 257 turned positive while 804 (76%) tested negative to COVID-19 from the 6 Isolation Centres established in collaboration with relevant government ministries and agencies including the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno state which established six (6) Isolation Centres.

Four of the Centres are fully functional at General Abba Kyari Memorial Hospital Centre, UMTH Isolation Centre, BEWAC Isolation Centre, 7 Division Isolation Center Pulka while Biu and Munguno Isoalation Centres are about to be activated to ensure that individuals who tested positive are properly attended to in safe and convenient facilities.

It will be recalled that the Borno state High Powered Response Committee on Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in the state was established by Governor Babagama Umara Zulum in order to scale up response. The Committee swung into action across the length and breadth of the state implementing the rules and guidelines spelt out by the NCDC and federal government lockdown order in every state of the federation.

While making his remark, at the heroes and heroines campaign, the Chairman of the High Powered Response Team who is also the State Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Usman Umar Kadafur in the company of the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aliyu Salihi Kwaya Bura who is the Secretary of the committee said", with the technical support from WHO, UNICEF, MSF, NERI among other partners, the pandemic was properly monitored and controlled in the state ".

"On behalf of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Borno state, Professor Babagama Umara Zulum, the people and inhabitants of Borno state, I say thank you to all the healthcare workers who are primary heroes and heroines before the survivors.

"Heroes and heroines, you have become the beacon of reality that COVID-19 is real but can be survived. You have become the symbol of hope that all hope is not lost yet as COVID-19 ravages the world.

"You have proved that the Isolation Centre is not a dead end. You have confirmed that positive status today can be negative status tomorrow. You have defeated COVID-19. For that I declare you, “Heroes and Heroines”. Congratulations", Kadafur said.

In an interview with newsmen , the Deputy Governor said "Out of the over 1000 samples taken, Borno State confirmed 257 cases and discharged 135 patients who are heroes and heroines today after 51 days".

He also assured that the health and medical workers allowances will be settled while the feeding issues would be addressed as well as the capacity of the facilities will continue to be improved and expanded .

The Chairman further appreciated the role of the media in the coverage of the COVID-19 in the state reporting objectively all activities of the committee and issues relating to the pandemic.

Some of the heroes and heroines that spoke at the Bolori Isolation Centre during th official discharge of the patients thanked the NCDC, WHO, Borno state government and other development partners for their support and expertise in handling their treatments while at the Isolation Centre.

They also commended the health and medical workers for their services , especially, the nine pillars that WHO provided logistics and training to them among others to ensure the prevention and control of the spread of the coronavirus.

"Coronavirus is not a licence to death. It could treated and cured even though the vaccines or medicines for the treatment of th COVID-19 are yet to be discovered. As they initially tested positive but after treatment, they were confirmed negative and free to reintegrate into the society with their people without any harm and stigma".

According to them, despite the current negative status, people need to observe preventive etiquettes including washing your hand under running water with soap or use hand sanitizers regularly.

Similarly, they said social distancing of at least two metres, and covering your cough and sneezes with a disposable tissue paper or coughing into your elbow among others are the only veritable options to limit community transmission in the absence of any effective vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

They further advised the general public to isolate themselves from family members if anybody feel symptoms of COVID-19 as well as use of face mask in the public because ," COVID-19 is real and we must face it".

While the medical and health workers noted that ,"Although our case fatality ratio is high, it could have been worse if not for the commitment and courage of our healthcare workers who have put their lives on the front line to save all of us."

" We have about 40 that were infected but thank God as at today that I am speaking with you, all have been discharged but unfortunately, we lost one nurse.

"We will like to advise the Governmentt to improve on the facilities available and feeding while allowances of the health and medical workers that participated in the exercise should be paid by th government.

"We however commend the pillars who worked closely and promptly with the response team to ensure successful exercise and present low prevalence of the pandemic in the state as compared to the past " Dr. Baba Shehu Mohammed Katiga , the State Chairman, Medical Doctors Association, Borno state said in an interview with Journalists at the Friday event.

It will be recalled that the EOC and 9 pillars Response Team in Borno state as soon as Nigeria confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 with the index case in Lagos facilitated the success story of the technical support achievements when the Borno state government swung into action, first to prevent the outbreak from occurring in the state to protect its citizens if it occurs.

With the technical support of WHO and partners, the State activated an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate partners’ nine response pillars including surveillance, risk communication, case management, point of entry, laboratory, logistics, coordination and mental health, contact tracing and infection prevention and control were established.