The Sokoto State government has expressed concern over the rising cases of COVID-19 in Niger Republic.
There are currently over 350 confirmed cases of the virus in Niger Republic and the state government’s concern is due to the proximity of the state with Niger Republic, where seven of its 23 local government areas share commong border with the West African country.
Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, had on Thursday, raised the alarm, calling on security personnel to increase surveillance at the various border posts bordering Niger Republic.
Tambuwal spoke during a review meeting of the state taskforce team on COVID-19 where the inter-state closure order was reviewed upward by additional two weeks.
He said Niger Republic had more cases than Nigeria and, therefore, appealed to state officials and traders in the state who were in the habit of visiting Niger Republic to desist from doing so, at least for the period of COVID-19 pandemic.
However, a visit to the border communities showed looming danger, if proper checks are not put in place.
Speaking to journalists shortly after an inspection check at the border communities, chairman of the state taskforce on COVID-19 and Commissioner for Health Dr Mohammed Iname said there was need to increase the number of personnel and other resources at the border communities to check the spread of coronavirus.
He said: ‘’We are here today to see how the border closure is working, as regard closure, in relation to COVID-19 outbreak and you may also be aware that we have over 350 confirmed cases in Niger Republic.
‘’This is also a very important point to look at and watch over to ensure that we safeguard the entry of people, knowing that the number of cases in Nigeria is also rising. That is why we are here to see for ourselves and also report back.
‘’In the taskforce, security committee is well represented and the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, and other security agencies too.
“So we are definitely going to report back to heads of Nigeria Immigration of what we have seen, the porous nature of the border and the multiplicity of entry points that need a lot of human resources and men to guard the entry points.”