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Coronavirus fear heightens in Abuja, Nasarawa boundary towns


There is growing fear among residents of Mararaba, new Karu and Ado border towns of the Federal Capital Territory over the spread of coronavirus.

Although the towns are in the Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, they are mostly inhabited by Abuja workers and by proximity closer to the Abuja city centre than most satellite towns in the nation’s capital.

The fear of COVID-19 was heightened by the influx of commercial motorcyclists from Kano State into the environs.

The influx came at a time Kano was battling with the high rate of the pandemic.

According to the information on the website of the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control, as of Sunday, Kano had recorded 896 cases with 36 deaths.

On the other hand, FCT and Nasarawa had recorded 505 and 46 confirmed cases with 14 and two deaths, respectively.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had expressed concerns about the manner the pandemic hit the state, saying it came with a “bang.”

Residents expressed concerns that there had been an upsurge in the number of strange faces among the motorcyclists in Mararaba and its environs.

A resident, Abubakar Yinus, said, “Many of the riders don’t know their way around. When you mention a place to them, they miss their way. That is evident that they are strangers still trying to find their way,” he said.

Narrating her own experience, a trader, Mrs Juliet Okolie, said she had been taken through a wrong route by an okada rider.

“I called Battalion 3 one day for an okada rider. After moving for a while, he missed his way. I had to show him the way. He told me he just arrived from Kano; that confirmed the suspicion that he was still new.”

An engineer, Kazeem Adeoti, expressed concern that Nasarawa State government had opened places of worship amidst the fear while NCDC officials were nowhere the place for testing and counselling.

He said, “We have not seen officials of the NCDC anywhere. They have not come to take samples to know the status of residents despite the alarm raised by the PTF about community transmission.

“Some parts of Mararaba are densely populated, yet the NCDC officials have not visited with all the noise about community transmission.”

However, in a chat with our correspondent, a fruit seller, who simply gave his name as Adamu, dismissed the fear of coronavirus, saying he didn’t believe in it.

“We don’t believe in coronavirus. What about states that have not reported any case?” he asked.

Another resident, Mallam Dogo, challenged government to rise to the challenge by taking steps to prevent transmission in the areas.

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