BY ADEYEMI AKANJI, BAUCHI – In its determination to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bauchi State Government has flagged off the distribution of 700,000 branded face masks to selected beneficiaries in the state as it commence enforcement of the wearing of face masks in the state.

Flagging off the distribution on Thursday at the Multipurpose Indoor Sports Hall, Governor Bala Mohammed said that from the onset, the government planned to distribute one million face masks, but due to the challenge of space and logistics, it could only afford to produce 700,000 face masks.

The Governor, who was represented by the State Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tella, who is also the Chairman of the State Taskforce Committee on COVID-19 and Lassa fever, said that one of the primary means of transmission of the deadly COVID-19 amongst others, is the emission of small respiratory droplets of the virus from infected persons who are either symptomatic, asymptomatic or a person with full blown Coronavirus.

According to him; “the NCDC protocol on combating the spread of the infection requires amongst others, ensuring physical distancing, wearing of face masks, contacting tracing and Isolation.

“Let me use this opportunity to remind us all that we are still under the grace threat of this disease. Remember that I am the first index case where I was isolated for 20 days. My brother the Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tella, two Commissioners, Finance and Local Government and even my close friend in this state where equally infected.

“Furthermore, the State Government has directed the 20 Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairmen to produce 10,000 face masks each and distribute accordingly. Government has also concluded arrangement to commence community active case search (community testing) in three Local Government Areas of Bauchi, Kirfi and Bogoro. This is in line with the NCDC guidelines of actively testing people to ensure that the virus is eradicated in the state,” the governor said.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro Mohammed said that the Government is doing everything possible to curtail the spread of the infection saying that all the people need to do is to adhere strictly to all the prescribed precautions.

Maigoro said the Molecular Laboratory Center has been activated thereby making sample testing for all infectious diseases in the state very easy and called on the people to volunteer to be tested to know their status.

The Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, who is Chairman of the Palliative committee commended the government for providing the face masks and assured that it will be judiciously distributed to all the targeted people across the state.

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