–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA): From Mike Sogbola, North East Correspondent:
There has been no increase in incident of COVID-19 in Borno state in the last 24 hours despite the testing of 17 persons believed to have had contact with the index case.
Briefing journalists on Saturday, the Borno State Commissioner of Health and Secretary of the High Powered Response Team for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, Dr. Salisu Kwaya-Bura, said within the last 24 hours, no positive case was recorded in the state.
He said contrary to the fear of many, 17 persons in Pulka, Gwoza local government area, identified to have had close contact with the first (index) case have all tested negative to the virus.
He explained that a surveillance and investigation team had initially identified 35 individuals with contacts to the index case, but from further analysis, only 17 persons met the medical criteria for tests to be carried out on them.
He however lamented that the state recorded one more death from the 15 positive cases recorded on Thursday.
The Commissioner also said that there was no cause for alarm over the disease breaking out at the camp, disclosing that the positive case which was early arrested at Bakasi IDP camp but mysteriously escaped was later found in the camp and had been taken to an isolation centre.
He said of the 15 cases reported in Borno, seven patients are receiving medical attention at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and 5 patients are at Brigadier General Abba Kyari Isolation centre, managed by the state government, also in Maiduguri.
He noted that the remaining three cases are the deaths recorded.
Meanwhile, the lockdown is to be relaxed on Monday and Thursday to allow for restocking by the residents of the state.
The Commissioner of Information, Babakura Abba-Jatto said the COVID-19 Response Team has accepted and approved a recommendation by the governor asking for lockdown to be relaxed on Monday and Thursday for residents to shop for food,
He however explained that the committee is taking measures to ensure strict social distancing during the days and part of the measures is to enforce the use of face masks as conditions for entrance into major markets, particularly in Maiduguri metropolis which is highly populated.
He said the Response Team plans to make face masks available at market entry points alongside hand sanitizers to be applied by shoppers at entry and exit points at major markets.