COVID-19 Bauchi Lockdown Compliance and the Isolation Centres: The Need for Reciprocation and Review: Recommendations from CITAD Issued on 13th May, 2020

In its effort to fight the pandemic of COVID -19, the Bauchi government has recently announced a total lock down in three local governments of the state considered as major points of the spread of the virus.

In assessing the level of citizens’ compliance of the said order, the level of compliance shown by the people of Azare, the Headquarters of Katagum local government is worthy of commendation and hope the other local governments will emulate. However, on the side of the government there is need to revisit the order and make some reviews as follows:
1. The order on the three local government did exempt essentials service such as the medicine stores, food sellers, bakeries, portable water producers which are essential to keeping people at home and a total ban on them inflicts a lot of hardship to the people which if care is not taken will lead to revolt.
2. The people of Bauchi North where the three local governments in total lock down is imposed are into irrigation farming and have now invested a lot in their farms. Some of the seedlings in most of these farms if left for up to seven days without watering may dry and this will cause a lot of damage to the economy and lead to exacerbating the potentials for food shortage and food insecurity.

The Isolation Centres
In our previous report we raised observation on the status of the isolation centres in state especially that of Bayara and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospitals. These problems are still there unaddressed. The problems include:
1. Poor health workers – patients relationship
2. The fifthly condition of some of the centres without basic hygiene such as, portable drinking water and good sanitation.
3. There are currently no care guidelines for the PWDs and their aides in the centres which will make their aides more vulnerable to infections.
4. There alleged elements of corruption in the testing and issuance of result of samples, that is characterized by a differential in which those those with money or connection will have their sample taken and result returned within 24 hours while for the ordinary people, it takes sometimes a week before the result is returned.

We call on the state government and the COVID – 19 committee in state to as a matter of urgency:
1. Ensure that the centres are fully equipped to meet the purpose they are set for.
2. Reorient the health workers in the centre on patient – staff relationship and ways of managing patients in trauma as such.
3. The state government should revisit the total lock down in the 3 local governments and give room for essential services.
4. The committee to find a way of addressing the problem of the irrigation farmers in the affected local governments to avoid lost of food and economic damage
5. The committee on palliative should with immediate effect swing in to action in the affected areas to ease the sufferings brought by the lock down and support the citizens to effectively follow the order.

Isah Garba
Ag. Programmes Coordinator

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