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WHO moves to fight COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria’s restive state

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners are moving rapidly to help Borno, Nigeria’s restive northeast state in the fight against COVID-19.

The action became necessary following confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in the state.

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Collins Owili, WHO’s northeast emergency manager in a statement on Thursday said the effort will help the state to identify, test and treat cases of COVID-19 in order to prevent and control the further outbreak of the disease

Owili added that prior to the index case of COVID-19 in Borno, the health organization has been providing technical support to health authorities in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

The technical support includes active surveillance, risk communication, contact tracing, and logistics among other preparations for response to confirmed cases.

“With the technical support from WHO, the infection, prevention, and control teams are currently decontaminating health facilities where the index case in Borno state was admitted,” Owili added.

Borno state is at the heart of a humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria where a large number of people are displaced by the over-a-decade violent rebellion of the extremist group Boko Haram.

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The state on Monday confirmed its first coronavirus infection, and aid workers fear the virus could prove devastating if it spreads inside the crowded camps holding hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

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