…As 11 drown after ferry sinks on Bangladeshi river***
The Plateau Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, on Sunday, said that 41 health workers had been infected with COVID-19 in the state, with eight deaths recorded.
The commissioner made the disclosure at a press briefing in Jos on the update on government’s efforts at combating COVID-19 in the state.
According to him, the state has 330 confirmed cases of the disease out of the 4,076 tests carried out so far.
“We have received 3,471 results, with 605 pending. We have 99 in our isolation centres and 37 on home care,” Lar said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the state COVID-19 Task Force, Gov. Simon Lalong, expressed worries over the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the state.
Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary of the task force, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, said that the government was redoubling its enforcement efforts across the state.
He said that the enforcement would be concentrated more on the six local government areas with the highest prevalence of the disease.
“Commencing from June 29, the enforcement teams will wage a robust action on defaulters, whether citizens or organisations, particularly in the six local governments, including Jos North, Jos South, Barkin Ladi, Mangu, Kanam and Kanke.
“This enforcement will go simultaneously with a public education campaign by health educators to further enlighten the citizens on the dangers of the disease and what to do to be protected,” he said.
The governor said that the enlightenment, which would be in the metropolis and rural areas, was in collaboration with the officials of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) stationed at the grassroots.
He said that the exercise was not to stigmatise people living in those local governments, but to contain the disease from spreading further among them.
Lalong called for the cooperation of residents in adhering to preventive guidelines for their safety, urging them to imbibe another pattern of life in consonance with the COVID-19 social behaviour.
Also speaking at the briefing, the state House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Health, Hon. Nanbol Listick, attributed the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases to the attitude and conduct of the residents.
In another development, at least, 11 people were killed after a ferry capsized in the river of Buriganga in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Monday, Duty Officer of Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters, Rozina Islam, told Xinhua.
“The bodies of 11 people have already been recovered,’’ she said.
The Dhaka-bound ferry “Morning Bird” capsized after it was hit by another launch “Moyur-2” in Buriganga river at Shyambazar area of old Dhaka at around 9.33 a.m. local time, she added.
The ferry was reportedly carrying over 100 passengers.
According to the official, search and rescue efforts are underway by the Fire Service and Civil Defence and other authorities.
Many passengers managed to swim ashore after the ferry capsized, she said.
Islam said rescuers have been struggling against a strong current and choppy river waters.
Ferry and boat disasters are common in Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers.
Ferries are a key means of transport in the country and most of them are often overcrowded.
With additional reports from Xinhua