THE rise in new cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as deaths in Kano, Nasarawa and Zamfara are heightening anxiety among residents of Abuja and the three states.
FCT’s COVID- cases rose to 266 Saturday from 178 on Friday. It is third to Lagos, the epicentre of the contagion, which had 1,068 cases as of Sunday morning..
Nasarawa State, which shares border with the FCT, lost a member of its House of Assembly at the weekend, a development that led to his colleagues and their families proceeding on a 14-day isolation.
Also, Kano, which is reeling under mass deaths, lost another academic, Prof. Isa Hashim,while Zamfara also lost the Emir of Kaura-Namoda, Mohammed Asha, on Sunday.
The Nasarawa lawmaker and the emir are believed to have died of COVID-19 complications. The cause of the former university teacher is unknown.
Amid the fears in the three states and the FCT, every discharged Coronavirus patient in Lagos has been advised to stay at home or isolate for 14 days.
In the FCT, some residents told The Nation that they are living in fear due to the spread of the pandemic on a daily basis.
“This pandemic is becoming more scary with the raise in the new cases. We need to be very careful now and obey government and medical rules especially as the lockdown is being eased from today,” said one of the residents.
FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, however enjoined them to comply strictly with the guidelines on easing of the lockdown as that was the only way to ensure that the pandemic is contained.
At the same time, he warned that “anybody who, for any reason, flouts the directives of government and is arrested, the full wrath of the law will fall on him or her.”
The Minister stated that security agencies would deploy additional personnel and resources to all the FCT entry points to ensure that the enforcement of the guidelines.
A statement by Bello’s Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, explained that ”offices in the FCT are open for specific categories of staff on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays within a specific time range of 8am and 2pm.”
In Lafia, Governor Abdullahi Sule ordered the shutdown of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly following the sudden death of a member , Adamu Sulieman, from COVID-19 complications.
He also directed the other lawmakers, their families and staff members of the House to quarantine immediately.
Sulieman was said to have taken ill last Thursday and his blood sample was taken and sent to the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.
He died in the early hours of Friday and was buried immediately according to lslamic rites. His result which was returned on Sunday by the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) positive .
Majority of the 23-member Assembly, friends and other associates of Suleiman attended the burial
Governor Sule also disclosed that the state had recorded nine confirmed cases of the pandemic with one death. He added that 11 of persons that had contact with the index case tested negative for the virus.
Sule said his government had evacuated about 788 Almajiris back to their home states as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
The governor was physically present at the Government Science School, Lafia to bid the Almajiris farewell in air conditioned buses to Plateau, Gombe, Kaduna, Taraba and Jigawa states
Zamfara State Publicity Secretary for the Control and Prevention of COVID-19, Alhaji Mustafa Jafaru Kaura, said that Emir Asha died on Sunday while in isolation at the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital.
He explained that Asha’s blood sample was sent to Abuja for COVID-19 test but that he died before the result could be out.
He said the remains of the Emir were still in the hospital waiting for burial by officials of the NCDC.
Hashim, a former university teacher, was until his death yesterday senior Counsellor in Kano Emirate Council and the Jarman Kano. He was 86.
A family source, Ibrahim Aliyu the heath of the traditional title holder started deteriorating following the deaths of some of his childhood friends in quick succession in the Emirate.
Hashim, a Professor of Political Science, was a senior lecturer with Bayero University Kano (BUK) for many years before his retirement.