Gov. Bala Mohammad of Bauchi State, has said that the state would test all Quranic education (Almajiri) pupils for Coronavirus (COVID-19) before returning them to their states of origin.
The governor said this while addressing newsmen in Bauchi State on Wednesday.
He also said that the state had developed the capacity to handle the scourge of the virus due to its experience with Lassa and yellow fever outbreak in the state.
“We want to reveal to Nigerians and the people of Bauchi that we have developed the capacity to handle the scourge of COVID-19 because of our experience with Lassa fever and yellow fever.
And we must thank our partners like the WHO, UNICEF, European Union, the Dangote Group and all other development partners who have helped us to build this capacity.
“The Northern Governors Forum has agreed to make sure we put a stop to the Almajiri pupil practice but we are continuing with the Islamiyyah Schools.
“However, in our own case, we will make sure before we take them to their parents, they are tested or quarantined for a period of time,” Mohammad said.
The governor also revealed that the state government was expediting a move to establish its own testing laboratory, where a large number of tests could be conducted in a day.
“We are establishing within 10 days our own testing laboratory in Bauchi, so that everyday we will be able to test one thousand people. We have more than the required capacity to accommodate people and treat them.
“Our medical team are using their own acumen to use chloroquine, even though, in some places they say it is not protocol, me as the governor, I am taking responsibility.
“I don’t want anybody to die, I have given you directives that you must use something that I have used to get well and all the six others who recovered,” he affirmed.
The governor revealed that 655 contacts had been made, most of whom he said came from Kano, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja and not from the index cases recorded in the state. (NAN)