Sixteen almajiris who are Islamic school pupils recently sent to Jigawa from Kano State, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Jigawa State government has announced.
The state commissioner of health, Abba Zakari, said on Thursday via a Facebook press conference that 45 samples were returned, of which 16 were positive.
Mr Zakari, who is the chairman of the Jigawa Taskforce on COVID-19, said the state sent a total of 607 samples of the returned almajiris, and only 45 samples were ready on Thursday.
The remaining 29 that returned negative would be united with their families soon, and each would receive N10,000 and clothing, Mr Zakari said.
The results of the remaining samples are expected any moment from now, while the 16 who tested positive would be transferred to the state’s isolation facility for treatment.
Recalls that Governors in northern Nigeria have said they are determined to end the Almajiris system of education in the region, a model that saw many children left on the streets as beggars.
States in the region have exchanged almajiris recently as they work to trace their places of origin and parents. Jigawa has so far received 1,114 almajiris from Kano, Kaduna, Gombe and Nasarawa States.
The commissioner of health said Jigawa was expecting another 99 repatriated almajiris from Plateau State on Thursday. The returnees would be quarantined for two weeks and their samples taken, he said.
Jigawa is yet to commence the repatriation of almajiris who came from other states. The government has rather restricted their movement while providing them free meals, saying sending them home could lead to more infections.