Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed on Sunday ordered a total lockdown of Katagum, Giade and Zaki Local Government Areas of the state over increasing number of COVID-19 pandemic cases in the state.
The three local government areas share boundaries with Kano and Jigawa states which has also witnessed spikes in the number of cases.
The total curfew is expected to last for the next ten days.
The total lockdown is coming after the state recorded 66 new cases of COVID-19 in less than 24 hours. 44 of the cases were announced Saturday night by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) while the state government confirmed 22 new cases Sunday afternoon, with a total of 183 cases, making Bauchi the fourth highest cases of COVID-19 disease in the country.
According to the governor, a large number of the new cases come from Katagum, a local government that shares boundaries with communities in Kano State, adding that it was worrisome that 69 of the 183 cases in Bauchi were recorded in Azare and environs, in Katagum local government.
This he blamed on the “influx of people from Kano State.”
While speaking at an emergency press conference on Sunday, Mohammed said the state government had, based on advice from the COVID-19 committee, decided to shut down Katagum local government and two other council areas that share common boundaries with Kano and Jigawa state.
“The total lockdown on the three local government areas is necessary because we just got results from the NCDC of 66 confirmed cases of which 42 of them are from Azare alone,” the governor said.
He further said that Katagum, Giade and Zaki local government areas would be shut down completely for the 10 days to allow health officials carry out contact tracing while security officials will seal off all identified routes linking the state with its neighbours.
Governor Mohammed said stringent disciplinary measures would be meted on persons who flout the 24 hours curfew in the next ten days.
Ripples Nigeria reported on Sunday that a former Member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ibrahim Baba and a deputy Public Relations Officer of the state Asset Recovery Committee, Musa Azare, had written to President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Bala Mohammed respectively, raising the alarm over increase in mysterious deaths in Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area of the state.
According to them, the increase in the number of deaths is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state deputy governor, Baba Tela, who chairs the COVID-19 committee, however denied the report, insisting that the “rumored mass death” had nothing to do with the new coronavirus.
According to the deputy governor, the deaths in Azare were akin to the mysterious deaths that have been reported in Kano state lately.