Nigeria: Coronavirus - Borno Bans Visits to IDP Camps

The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on Monday banned all visits to camps for internally displaced persons (IDP) in the state.

The ban, which is part of the state government's efforts at preventing the spread of Covid-19 in the state, is expected to last four weeks.

Nigeria currently has 36 confirmed cases of the outbreak with one death recorded.

The chairperson of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Yabawa Kolo, announced the ban during a meeting with 51 IDP camp managers on Monday in Maiduguri.

Mrs Kolo said the ban was part of the strategies to stave off the importation of the virus into the usually overcrowded camps into the state.

She said the measure became essential as some of the neighbouring countries like the Chad Republic and Cameroon have recorded cases of coronavirus.

She explained further that despite the closure of the borders by the neighbouring countries, "there was still an influx of IDPs into the state".

Camp managers of Gamboru-Ngala, Damasak, Kalabalge, Banki, Bama, and Monguno, which are located near border areas were also warned "not to accept IDPs from any neighbouring country into their camps".

"We know we have a lot of threat around us following the sighting of suspected cases of the virus in Cameroon and Chad and we have some border towns very close to those countries," she said. "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."

The governor of the state, Babagana Zulum, had last week appointed his deputy, Umar Kadafur, to head a response team to help address the coronavirus outbreak as it concerns the state.

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