Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has set up a committee to investigate the events surrounding the COVID-19 index case in the state. 

Reports have it that the Governor, who performed the inauguration at the Government House, Maiduguri, on Thursday, gave the committee an ultimatum of two weeks to submit its report. 

Governor Zulum, who was represented by his deputy, Umar Kadafur, who is also the chairman of the COVID-19 taskforce in the state, said the investigation was crucial to clear all speculations.

He said: The first COVID-19 pandemic occurred in Pulka town in Gwoza Local Government area.

"It was when a local staff of Medicine Sans Frontier, otherwise known as Doctors Without Borders, manifested the symptoms and was brought to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for treatment.

"His blood sample was taken for testing to determine whether or not he had the virus. Unfortunately, by the time he tested positive for coronavirus, the patient had already died.

"This was the first confirmed index case of COVID-19 and the first death recorded as a result of the virus in the state.

To determine whether the person's nature of work with the international NGO in Pulka, Gwoza, had, in any way, been a factor in contracting the virus

"To contact some relevant individuals and organisations in Gwoza, including the Emir and the international NGO, in order to determine whether they had any prior knowledge of the event that led to the virus in Pulka.

*Although, he had no record of recent travels, he had manifested the known symptoms of coronavirus which begged the question: "how did he contract the virus?" he said.

Zulum said the index case had no record of recent travel or had recent contact with people who had tested positive, hence the committee must investigate the emergence of the state's index case.

The Governor also said that the committee would investigate the activities and interactions of the patient with his friends, colleagues, and relatives between the time he started displaying symptoms and the time he was brought to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

Marte, who is also the state Commissioner for Higher Education, said that the assignment was very important, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If this pandemic or virus is not treated very fast, it can have serious effect, not only on the lives of the people but also, on the economy of the state.

"this investigation is very important, even for the record of the government to know how the first index case got the virus and this committee will objectively investigate the matter, without fear or favour," he said.

The chairman of the committee, Professor Isa Marte, assured the Governor that his team would complete the investigation in two weeks.

Marte said that the committee would not mind stepping on toes in its quest to unravel the circumstances surrounding the first index case.



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