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By Charly Agwam, Bauchi
The Bauchi state government, on Thursday, flagged off the distribution of 700,000 face masks to beneficiaries in the state as part of its efforts to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Bala Mohammed represented by his deputy and Chairman of the COVID-19 response team, Baba Tela flagged off the distribution in Bauchi, saying that the government initially planned to distribute 1 million face masks, but due to the challenge of space and logistics, the government could only afford to produce 700,000 face mask.
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He noted that one of the primary means of transmitting the deadly COVID-19 is the emission of small respiratory droplets of the virus from infected persons who are either symptomatic, asymptomatic or a person with full-blown COVID-19, while also stressing that 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 grave threat of this disease. Remember that I was the first index case where I was isolated for twenty days. My brother the deputy governor, Baba Tella, two commissioners, finance and local government, and even my close friend in this state were equally infected. We are not taking this fight lightly, that’s why we went ahead with the purchase of 700,000 face mask to ensure that we chase this pandemic out of our lives.
“Further to this, the state government has directed all the 20 local government caretaker committee chairmen to produce 10,000 face masks each and distribute accordingly. The government has also concluded arrangements 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.
Governor Mohammed also reiterated the commitment of his administration towards the provision of quality healthcare for the people of the state, pointing out that his government has partnered with the North-East Development Commission and established the Bauchi State Molecular Reference Laboratories at the Bauchi State Specialist Hospital and another one at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
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