Nigeria: Coronavirus - What Northeast States Are Doing to Stem Spread of COVID-19

Map of Nigeria showing the location of Bama and Maidiguri, in Borno State.

Of the six states in North-east Nigeria, Bauchi is the only one that has recorded cases of the novel coronavirus. But all of them have announced measures to combat the disease.


On March 24, Bauchi's first case was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control when the state governor, Bala Muhammed, tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the state has continued to record cases among those that were traced to have made contact with the governor.

Of the 305 cases that were screened by the NCDC, six have tested positive.

The state government has since been putting in place measures to curb the spread of the disease.

Deputy Governor Baba Tela, who heads the state's task force on COVID-19, said three isolation centres at Bayara General Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, and Azare General Hospital have been set up to receive patients should the need arise.

Earlier, the state government had shut all public schools to prevent the spread of the disease. Places of worship were also asked to comply with the social distancing measure by reducing the number of their congregants - a directive that has never been complied with.

The state government has also set up an appeal fund which has realised about N100 million in donations from the organised private sector.

Civil servants in the state have also forfeited certain percentages of their salaries for the months of April, May, and June to support the fight against covid-19.

The state government had last week Tuesday declared a total lockdown of the state from March 28. The total lockdown was later reviewed to only shutting down the entrance gates to the state while allowing free movement within the townships. The government said they had no resources to provide for the resident should they go into full quarantine.


In Borno, though no single case of COVID-19 has been recorded, the state government had since last week shut down all entry points to the state.

The government had also set off a State Task Force on COVID-19 headed by the state deputy governor, Umar Kadafur. All public and private schools have been shut down until further notice.

The state government had also restricted entrance into most of the IDP camps while partnering with the United Nations agencies to provide medicine and food to the camps should there be unexpected cases of coronavirus outbreak.

The Borno State Commissioner of Health, Aliyi Kwayabura, said a Lassa fever treatment centre at the Brigadier Abba Kyari Memorial Hospital has been upgraded and equipped for treatment of COVID-19.

The centre has been upgraded and equipped with 100 beds as an isolation centre for the disease..

Mr Kwayabura said they have also "stationed staff, safety Kitts and consumable in case it happens."

The health commissioner said more health personnel have been trained on handling the new coronavirus pandemic.

The state government has also set up a task force on internally-generated revenue with a view to boosting the revenue of the state as allocations from the federal purse shrinks due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the global economy.


In Taraba, the state government said it has established two isolation centres before the spread of the disease to the state.

According to the state's commissioner for health, Innocent Vakkai, the two centres are located at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and the State Specialist Hospital in Jalingo.

Mr Vakkai had last week said Governor Darius Ishaku, had directed health institutions to put in place measures "to ensure prompt detection of suspected cases of COVID-19 should the virus spread to the state."

As another strategy of preventing the COVID-19 from filtering into the state, the government had deployed health officials to various entry points of the state.

Mr Vakkai said, "the ministry will procure and pre-position drugs and medical supplies in health facilities, particularly at the FMC and Specialist Hospital."

Residents have recently expressed concerns that the isolation centres have not been equipped.

Mr Ishaku had last week directed workers on grade level 1 to 12 to stay at home for two weeks.

Following the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Taraba state government Saturday ordered the closure of its boundaries.

Governor Darius had last week ordered the restriction of movement with effect from March 29.


There has not been any reported case of COVID-19 in Gombe, but the state government had taken far-reaching measures to safeguard the state.

The state government said it has ordered the supply of "Polymerase Chain Reaction Machine for the testing of COVID-19, which it said, " will be the first of its kind in the North-East zone."

According to the Chairman of the Taskforce Committee on Coronavirus, Idris Mohammed, "we have ordered the supply of the machines for testing suspected cases of the virus for the state-owned centre, and the machines are expected to be available in the next two weeks."

The task force chairman said a campaign on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 has been sustained.

The state government said it has established emergency centres in each of the 11 local government headquarters in the state.

The state government said it already has a stock of medical consumables in its medical stores that would come handy should there be an outbreak.

The state shares boundaries with Bauchi. All the boundaries have since been closed but movements are still allowed within the state.


Adamawa State has not recorded any case of COVID-19 at the time of filing this report, but the state government has so far taken stringent measures to prevent the spread to the state.

Last week, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri signed an Executive Order for the restriction of movements to check the spread of Coronavirus into the state.

The restriction law was followed by a 14-day lockdown of the state with took effect from midnight of March 31.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Restriction Adamawa State Regulations 2020 Order', forbids any person, except authorised officials or essential service providers from going out without genuine reason such as basic necessities that included food, water, and drugs.

The spokesperson of the government said, "Under the regulation, the police or law enforcement officers may use reasonable force if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person is or may be infected or contaminated with the Coronavirus and there is a risk that the person may infect others."

The state government has also deployed 300 personnel of the NSCDC across the state to help enforce the restriction order.

The state government had earlier suspended the payment of "consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage" until the Covid-19 impact subsides. The government said this was due to a coronavirus-induced cash. crunch in the states.


In Yobe State, the state government has put in place several measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus to the state.

Part of the measures was setting up three isolation centres, each with three ventilators.

The Commissioner for Health, Mohammed Lawan, last week said that there were 10 ventilators across the state which have been distributed to the three centres.

The three isolation centres were set up at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital with five beds; and the Federal Medical Centre, Nguru with a 20-bed capacity.

Governor Mai-Mala Buni had told the media that though there has not been any case of COVID-19, taking preemptive measures would prevent the state which is battling with Boko Haram from being burdened further by the disease.

"As you are aware, Yobe and other states in the Northeast are faced with the problem of Boko Haram insurgency and now the threat of Coronavirus," Mr Buni said.

The state government has also directed the decongestion of commercial vehicles in the state.

This also affects tricycle operators popularly known as KAKE NAPEP who are also restricted to carrying only two passengers as against five persons.

The state government had set up 'State COVID 19 Prevention and Control Committee, that is chaired by the Deputy Governor, Idi Barde.

As part of the preventive measures, the government has ordered all its personnel starting from the governor and his cabinets as well as all arms of the government, including local government administrative staff, to donate 50 per cent of their subsequent salaries.

The state government has also closed all entry points for all kinds of commuters except those on essential duties.

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