Amidst the reality of community transmission of coronavirus in the country, the Bauchi State government has concluded arrangements to commence community testing for the vius in three Local Government Areas of Bauchi, Kirfi and Bogoro.
The State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir identified the three local governments as Bauchi, Kirfi and Bogoro during the flagging off of the distribution of 700,000 specialised face masks to various groups across the state.
The governor in his speech at the distribution ceremony which took place at the Multipurpose Indoor Sports Hall, Bauchi, on Thursday,July 23 said this was in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 in the state.
He added that “This is in line with the NCDC guidelines of actively testing people to ensure that the virus is finally eradicated in the community before the State will be certified COVID-19 free.”
The Governor added that “Based on this strategy, a minimum of 100 people will be tested every day until we are sure that the virus is not hiding in any part of the state.”
The governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela, said that initially, the state government’s plan was to produce and distribute one million face masks but the challenges of space and logistics only permitted the production and distribution of 700,000.
He said that “As we are aware, a primary means of transmission of the deadly COVID 19 is, among others, the emission of small respiratory droplets of the virus from infected individuals. These individuals are either symptomatic, asymptomatic or a patient with full-blown coronavirus.”
The governor further said: “The NCDC protocol on combating the spread of this disease among others, requires physical distancing, wearing of face masks, contact tracing and isolation or quarantine.”
“The ceremony which we are witnessing today is the distribution of locally produced face masks and it is a very significant milestone in checking the spread of COVID-19 at the community level. The beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable members of our society,” he said.
Bala Mohammed added: “The more we use these face masks, the less an indication will likely contract the disease.
“Another important measure I must be quick to remind us is the use of washing your hands constantly with soap and running water or the use of hand sanitisers.” He said.
“Let me use this opportunity to remind us all that we are still under the grave threat of this disease. Remember I am the first index case where I was in isolation or quarantine for twenty days,” the governor said recalling that his Deputy, Commissioners of Finance and Local Government and even his close friend in this State were equally infected.
He said: “Many of us have one experience or the other losing our relations, friends, associates and everyday people we do not know. It is incumbent on us to take every measure in containing the spread of this disease seriously.”
He reiterated the commitment of his administration towards the provision of quality healthcare to the people of the state by initiating, in collaboration with the North-East Development Commission, the establishment of Bauchi State Molecular Laboratories (LEACH) at the State Specialist Hospital and at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital.
Bala Mohammed also said that other strategies include the prompt isolation and hospitalised case management of all confirmed cases, contact tracing, active surveillance, risk communications strategy and provision of 3 square meals to all isolated patients.
He concluded saying that the state government has directed the 20 Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairmen to produce 10,000 face masks each and distribute to their communities pointing out that will go a long way in helping the masses.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Commissioner of Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro Mohammed, stressed the importance of social distancing, hand washing and the use of face mask, especially in public places.
Aliyu Maigoro said that the government is doing everything possible to ensure that the pandemic did not spread across the state calling on the people to continue to adhere strictly to all the prescribed public health protocols of prevention.
The Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, who is Chairman of the Palliative committee commended the government for providing the face masks assuring that it will be judiciously distributed to all the targeted people across the state.