Director General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has commended Kano State Government response to the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the state, appreciating that he relayed the message of commendation on behalf of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
While commending Kano’s response team, as one of the best in they country, he said to the governor “We appreciate your good support and contribution in the state response team. We have no other option but to support you Your Excellency.”
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Dr Ihekweazu made the commendation at Africa House, Government House, Kano, as part of his assessment tour to the state to see and assess the state response to the pandemic. During the visit he was at some Isolation Centers to see for himself the level of the state preparedness.
He added that, “We are supporting you with all our commitment. It is good to let you, Your Excellency, that, we have a collective responsibility to do our very best to make sure that Kano is supported to move forward.”
After thanking governor Ganduje for the good leadership he provides in the state response, the NCDC Boss hinted further that, Kano team is so viable, responsive and effective.
“For us to succeed at the national level, in this response, states also need to succeed. We will sit down tomorrow before we leave for Abuja, with the state and make a Plan on how to forge ahead,” he discloses.
In his response governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, disclosed that, “So far we don’t have very serious cases where an index cases need the usage of Ventilators and Monitors. But that doesn’t mean we shall sit without doing anything. We are doing our best, as acknowledged by the DG NCDC.”
“All the index cases we have are within the metropolitan local governments. We can therefore say, community transmission is not there. So it could be true to say we need more Testing Centres. There is a need to increase our capacity for testing our suspected cases. At the same time we also need more collection centres,” he pleads with NCDC.
Ganduje observed clearly that, the cosmopolitan nature of Kano set up, was one of the reasons for the rise in index cases. Adding that “Being the most populous state in the country among other factors, are reasons for the high numbers we are recording.”
Explaining further that, “Lagos being the second populous state in the country and Abuja being the federal Capital, there is no surprise that the numbers are rising up. So also when Kano becomes the third in this category. Is just like what is happening in other global cities. Due to the metropolitan nature of the settlement.”
He said the disease is new and with it’s new behaviour. “By the time we also have new behaviours of our people, we thought we should also get new strategy to deal with those new behaviours. That is why we are coming up with our Kano State Infectious Diseases Regulation 2020 to take care of those new public behaviours.”
The new Law, that was signed on 15th April, 2020, has many provisions to assist in responding to the global pandemic, “…starting from relating with suspected cases, to other areas in dealing with the disease.
So also we have very clear provision that deals with originating and spreading fake news by some journalists, because they either don’t understand the processes of they are doing that for other reasons, such as political reasons,” explains the governor.
That, according to him, peculiar situations require peculiar regulations and processes. “We are doing as much as we can to tame the situation. That is why, those suspected cases that are less privileged, we take them to hotel after taking their samples, to keep them there.
For those whose samples are positive, we take them to Isolation Centres. And for those that are negative we leave them go to their residences. Our administration is very serious about this.”
As a matter of strong ties among stakeholders, governor Ganduje said “We need interface, rapid response and we need good coordination. As the third state in the category after Lagos state and the federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as the most affected states, we need funds to respond well to this deadly COVID-19 pandemic.”
The state Deputy Governor Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who is the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 and Dr Tijjani Hussaini, the Coordinator of the Technical Team briefed the DG about the feats so far recorded in the state, in the fight against the global pandemic.