By Rita Iliya
Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has directed the state Ministries of Health and Education to convert dinning halls of public secondary schools in each emirates to isolation centers for suspected cases of COVID-19.
He disclosed this during a press conference on the state of affairs on the COVID19 pandemic in the state in Minna on Sunday.
Bello said the isolation centres would serve as temporary clinics to cater for affected persons so as to reduce pressure on hospitals.
He said he had approved money for the ministry of health to purchase ventilators and masks as part of measures in ensuring safety of health workers.
“I have told the health commissioner to invite volunteers that will serve as health workers to assist during the period. We are also calling on qualified health workers to work as volunteers in our isolation centers,” he said.
The governor also disclosed that he had directed the state Environmental Protection Agency to collaborate with Ministry of Environment to embark on fumigation of public places such as markets, schools and parks.
He directed Ministry of Water Resources to ensure adequate supply of water to areas without water supply and the Ministry of Transportation to provide vehicles to each local government that would be used to move patients to isolation centers.
Bello directed his deputy to liaise with AEDC to supply eighty hours of electricity to make people comfortable in their homes and appealed to the people to embrace personal hygiene as well as ensure social distancing.
He commended traditional and religious leaders for their support and cooperation in ensuring strict compliance on the ban on religious activities as such orders were meant to protect lives.
The governor, while thanking God for his negative test results and his well-wishers, said that all state and local governments’ borders would remain closed and urged the ministry for Local Government to ensure enforcement.