The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 testing centre in Kano will resume operation on Monday, an official has said.
The minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Sunday during an interview on Channels television’s Sunday Politics which focused on the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Mr Ehanire said: “the testing centre should be back on stream tomorrow (Monday) because the team has gone in there from NCDC. Most have arrived there today (Sunday). And they should be able to resume screening tomorrow (Monday).
Speaking on the mysterious deaths in Kano, the minister explained that a delegation will be sent to the state “to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss of lives there.”
“The death pattern there does not appear (as) what will be normal for a period of time. But the fact finding mission will be able to help us to diagnose what the situation is. It is not really clear they are coronavirus or COVID-19 related.
“We are really treating it like a special case, and looking more specifically at processes and what actually happened in detail. Kano has not had much of an experience of coronavirus and rapidity which has exploded now, (this) is a source of concern.”
On Saturday, the head of COVID-19 testing centre in Kano, Nasiru Magaji, told PREMIUM TIMES that there is no definite date for resumption of testing.
PREMIUM TIMES, on Wednesday, reported how a member of Kano Task Force on COVID-19, Isa Abubakar, said the testing centre in Kano suspended its operations due to shortage of testing kits.
On Thursday, Mr Ehanire said the centre was temporarily closed because some staff of the laboratory were reportedly infected with COVID-19. He also comfirmed the centre ran short of some testing reagents.
The NCDC on Sunday announced 91 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, and none was reported from Kano possibly due to lack of testing facility.
The state, however, recorded over a dozen deaths of prominent persons on Saturday and Sunday.
Among the dead were five professors, a former Grand Khadi, a former state chairman of the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB), a former commissioner of education, and a former editor of the state-owned Triumph newspapers.
The governor had last week dismissed the reports of mysterious deaths in the state as “fake news.”
However, in a dramatic volteface, Sunday, he acknowledged recent deaths in the state and directed the ministry of health to investigate.