Amidst the fear of community transmission of the COVID-19 in Kano State, the Presidential Task Force delegation arrived in Kano on Tuesday and met with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, on the marching order of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Upon arrival at the Africa House, Government House, Kano, Nasiru Gwarzo, who led the delegation, said “President Muhammadu Buhari gave us marching order to be in Kano and find out what the state needs for containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mr Gwarzo said, “(The) President said we must do everything possible to support, reinforce and mobilise support, even beyond the nation. Your Excellency, on the Special Committee sent to Kano to work with the state government are experts in public health and other areas.”
He revealed that they were not in Kano to re-invent the wheel “…but we are reinforcing the wheel. We are here to support the Kano team in achieving the needs that are necessary for containing the global pandemic.”
In his remarks, Mr Ganduje thanked President Buhari for coming to the aid of the state “…at this critical time. He takes the right step and there is no doubt about this. Your coming to Kano will let you know the areas that we need all the necessary intervention.”
He reiterated his call for more testing centres in the state, adding that the “testing centre is the nucleus of the fight against COVID-19. It is just like a heart in our body. We have to give you full cooperation. This is what we have been looking for.”
“We need more testing centres in the state, and the extension of Isolation Centres is absolutely necessary, because there is this fear of community transmission. And, we need more sample collection areas. In all the 44 local governments, we must have multiple collection centres,” he said.
Mr Ganduje requested for the provision of more Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) adding that life insurance is “absolutely necessary.”
“We are also providing palliative to our health workers, they also have families, who must also be supported.
“We also need optimum supply of all supplies to the state. We will work together day and night. After going round with you, we will come and see where we have gaps,” the governor said.
Also speaking the pioneer DG of NCDC, Abdulsalam Nasidi, said they are not in Kano to compete or to replace any existing structure but to reinforce already existing structures in the state, adding that “we are going to work with your team, Your Excellency. We are here and we are going to work 24/7. We will always be available.”
He added that he was pleased to come home, “Kano, when my people need me the most. We all know that Kano is not in denial at all. The state believes that the pandemic must be fought from all angles.”
According to Mr Nasidi, a Professor of Infectious Diseases, the Presidential Task Force has confidence in Mr Ganduje. “We have the competence and understanding of the governor. What we need now is the cooperation of other people, like traditional institutions, scholars, community leaders, among others.”
On her part, the director, health services, Federal Ministry of Health, Bimpe Adebiyi, said she was impressed about how passionate the governor was in healthcare service delivery in the state, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Testing at the COVID-19 testing centre, domiciled at Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, which hosts many Northern states’ suspected cases, has been suspended for days.
Earlier, the DG of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said a fact-finding team will visit the state to find out how the state’s ministry of health can be supported to improve on surveillance, case finding, contact tracing and isolation.
Experts say testing capacity is a major step in fighting the spread of coronavirus.