The Federal Government on Tuesday said it was worried by the rising cases of COVID-19 in Kano State.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, who said this in Abuja at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the Federal Government would increase its support for the highly populated state to stop the spread of the virus.
Also, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, at the briefing, said the task force was concerned about the increasing cases of the virus in the state.
He also commented on the recent multiple deaths in the state, which the state government on Monday said it was investigating.
Besides, some residents, in separate interviews with Leakblast, said they were disturbed by the upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the state, which was free of the virus last month.
Kano State recorded its first COVID-19 case on April 11 when a retired ambassador, who had gone on a trip to the United Kingdom, was diagnosed with the virus.
The cases shot up to 59 on Monday as 23 more persons were infected with the virus, whose spread was hastened by the index case, who was reported to have attended a Jumat prayer in Kano.
Also, reports of recent increasing deaths in the state have worsened fear that cases of the virus in the highly populated state may be higher than what is being reported.
Like Lagos, we are worried about Kano —Minister
But at the PTF press briefing, Mamora expressed worry about coronavirus cases in Kano State.
He stated that the population density of Kano could be compared to Lagos, which is the epicentre of the virus in the country.
He said, “Part of what we will do is to increase the support for Kano. Kano and Lagos have the highest population and, naturally, we would be worried.
“What Lagos has is also what Kano has in terms of population, the density of population and activities, commercial and otherwise. So, we will need to do more of contact tracing, where we can, testing, isolation, and treatment.”
On his part, PTF coordinator, Aliyu said the Federal Government and the PTF had noted the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. He said the task force was working with the state government to tackle the surge.
He said, “We are closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo states. We note with particular concern, Kano State and we have engaged closely with the state government. (But) because we are increasing the number of tests as we ramp up, we are likely to have increase in the number of cases.”
PTF speaks on Kano deaths
Also, the PTF said the state government had set up a team to investigate the increase in coronavirus cases in the state.
The PTF coordinator said the task force had been working closely with the state authorities in Kano. He added, “There is a possibility that we will continue to have more cases coming in as we increase the number of tests.
A journalist asked for Aliyu’s comment on multiple deaths and reports of mass burial in Kano.
Responding he said, “Over the weekend, we engaged directly with the state governor and, virtually, over the last two days, I have been talking to people in Kano to find out what is going on.
“It’s not very clear whether the reports we are getting are actually factual or not. But they (Kano State Government) have set up a team that will be investigating this further.
“In terms of what we are doing from the Abuja side, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made an on-the-spot assessment yesterday. He just left Kano today (Tuesday).”
The national coordinator said the PTF had sent Rapid Response Teams to Kano, adding that the task force continued to engage with the government in terms of testing.
“The test centre in Kano started last week. We are also looking at opening more centres for taking samples so that we can increase the number of tests and also improve the efficiency of contact tracing.”
Ganduje begs FG for help
As the Federal Government stepped up efforts to curb COVID-19 in Kano, the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Tuesday called for more testing centres in the state.
The governor, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, by Abba Anwar, made the call when the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, visited him at the Government House in Kano.
He stated, “We need additional testing centres in the state. We need vehicles and protection kits. We need coordination. We need rapid responses and we need palliative.
Kano cemetery records 70 burials in two days
The Nigerian Television Authority reported that in Koki Quarters alone, there had been more than 70 deaths in two days and most of the deceased were elderly people.
According to the report, a resident, Ayuba Haruna, said, “They brought a number of remains of people amounting to 70 into in this cemetery.”
Another resident, Jamilu Yaro, who resided in the Tarauni area of the state, said 20 people were buried there. “In fact, the undertakers pleaded with us that the work was becoming too much for them,” he added.
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“Kano is the third on the list of states with a high number of COVID-19 cases and is the most populated state in the federation. We, therefore, need financial support from the Federal Government.”
Come for test, if you live in places where there are cases – NCDC tells Nigerians
The NCDC has said anybody who lives in a place where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 can get tested for the virus.
The agency, in a Twitter post on Tuesday, advised people to go for testing if they had fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
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