The Borno State Government has quarantined 70 travellers for defying the lockdown order imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state deputy governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Maiduguri on Sunday while monitoring compliance with the stay-at-home directive in Maiduguri.
Kadafur, who is the Chairman of the State’s High Powered Response Team for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, said the travellers were apprehended while attempting to sneak into the state capital on trucks conveying essential foodstuffs.
He said that the travellers would spend at least 14 days in isolation at the Maiduguri Hajj camp during which they would undergo test for COVID-19 before they would be allowed into the state.
He explained that some of the travellers comprising 45 males and 25 females, claimed they came from Lagos, Delta, Kano, Plateau, and Kaduna States among others.
Kadafur said that the drivers who violated the lockdown were also apprehended and isolated for violating the order.
The deputy governor said that security agencies had intensified patrol at all entry points to clamp down on desperate travellers coming into the state illegally.
He reiterated the government commitment to eradicate COVID-19 and prevent it from being transported into the state.
He added that government would take very drastic measures by sending drivers conveying the passengers to jail to serve as deterrent to others.
According to him, government would not fold its arms and watch few selfish people cause havoc in the state.
On level of compliance with the lockdown in the state capital, Kadafur commended the Maiduguri residents for complying with the lockdown order, describing it as “very impressive.”
“As you can see, we went round to check religious centers to ensure they complied with the directives and so far, they have all complied to stay at home. This is very commendable.
“The lockdown will be relaxed Monday and Thursday. We, therefore, appeal to the resident to exercise the basic preventive principles of COVID-19 so that we can collectively prevent the spread.
“Prices of food items and other items on high demand had recorded increased due to the Ramadan Fast. We appeal to them not to use the COVID-19 lockdown to add to the hardship of the vulnerable populations.