Nigeria’s Northern Governors, Friday said they will start rural COVID-19 screening using mobile test centers.
Federal interventions have increased in the region since the Governors appealed for test centers in April, said Chairman of the forum, Simon Lalong, “but they are still grossly inadequate”, he insisted in a press statement through his Press Director, Simon Macham after the NGF’s teleconference.
The Governors will purchase the vans to use for the mobile tests, says the statement.
Existing restrictions on international travels might frustrate these plans, but the Governors are restricting interstate movements, a likely sign of commitment to go all out to secure citizens.
The Governors agreed to close their borders from 6pm to 7am every day to check “interstate transfer of COVID-19.”
“On the issue of inter-State border closure, the Northern Governors expressed serious concern that despite their efforts, the borders are still being compromised and more illegal routes are being created which is giving rise to more interstate transfer of COVID-19.
“They also noted that some of the trucks transporting goods are also used in smuggling people across States in violation of movement regulations.
“They therefore decided to close all their borders from 6pm to 7am to all trucks carrying goods so as to enable proper scrutiny and examination the following day, which is difficult to achieve in the night when most of the infractions happen.
“They also agreed to increase the use of vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch, and traditional rulers in enforcing the border closures,” said Mr. Lalong’s Press Director’s statement.
The Governors have also started profiling and returning Islamic disciple pupils locally known as Almajiris to their home States, said the statement.
“They also agreed that Almajiris sent from one State to another should be profiled, tested and accompanied by State officials and their Alaramas (teachers) to facilitate the process of settling in,” said Macham.