The federal government Thursday assured that the ongoing investigation into the causes of the high number of deaths in Kano state would be pursued to a logical conclusion.
This was disclosed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Control of COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, at the daily briefing of the committee in Abuja.
He said a substantial foundation for a conscious fight against COVID-19 in Kano had already been established, stressing that additional aids from the Presidential Task Force and the Nigerian military were on the way.
He a team of experts sent to Kano on Monday to investigate the situation had already filed an interim report on its findings.
“The ongoing investigation into the causes of the recently reported high number of deaths will be pursued to a logical conclusion.
“I wish to reassure all Nigerians resident in Kano that the Federal Government and particularly this PTF is with them and shall do all possible to fight the spread in the state as directed by the President.
“Kano is one of our historical cities and remains a backbone for the economy of this nation. The already established isolation and treatment centres with holding capacity for 274 persons, the proposed establishment of additional facilities with capacity for 500, two Sample Collection centres along with six new proposed centres have provided a strong foundation for tackling the spread of the virus in the state,” he said.
He said the Nigerian military, under its COVID-19 response plan, would establish an additional isolation centre, treatment facility and testing laboratory services in Kano state.
“The PTF COVID-19, in the immediate, would further strengthen Kano state to scale-up its response with the provision of necessary facilities and equipment, capacity building, improving stakeholder inter-phase and guidance on any existing policy capable of diminishing the fight against the pandemic in the state.
“Already, the testing laboratories in the AKTH and the BUK have become fully functional. Thee PTF has released a number of equipment to be transported immediately to Kano to beef up the response,” he said.
He listed the equipment as two Oxygen Concentration and three ventilators; 280 Protective gowns; 51 face shields; 538 examination gloves; 25 boot covers; medical masks and surgical caps; and Infrared Thermometers.
He expressed confident that the collaboration, complemented by the lockdown directed by the President, would be effective in slowing down the spread while government continues to test, detect, isolate, trace contacts and manage cases.
He said as the nation approaches the commencement of the first phase of the three-phase easing of lockdown from Monday May 4, 2020, it is important that Nigerians receive and digest the implementation guidelines.
He said it is also important for states, law enforcement agents, trade associations, employers, businesses and citizens to understand their roles, obligations and responsibilities.
He said the Presidential Task Force is adopting a combination of channels to create enhanced awareness and understanding of these new guidelines, including publication in print media and social media, broadcast on electronic media, dissemination of information in local languages, and the use of National Orientation Agency (NOA) for disseminating of information to all the 774 local governments in the country.
Also speaking, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said contrary to claims that about 300 medical workers have tested positive for COVID-19, only 113 have been infected.
He said majority of the affected medical personnel are those working in private hospitals with no accreditation to treat coronavirus patients.
“As for 300 doctors testing positive, that is a feeble, there are not so many people in the health sector who are infected. The latest figure we have is that they about 113 actually and this 113 are not all public health workers, a good number are from private hospitals.
“And you could hear us speaking here frequently against people treating coronavirus in private clinics, we are actually referring to people who do so without the necessary precautions, without the necessary training. Because they infect themselves and then go home and give these infections to their family and is not the right thing.
“The healthcare workers who have no training have no business actually handling coronavirus patients. As for those who do not have equipment, we have said that we have provided PPE for all the people out there. But let me remind you again that there is a global shortage of PPEs, every country is struggling for masks, PPEs,” he said.