Gov Ganduje wants N15b from Buhari to battle coronavirus in Kano

The governor said the money would come in handy in procuring PPEs and erecting isolation centers.

Gov Ganduje of Kano State wants some federal support to curb COVID-19 spread in his state (Daily Trust)

Kano has recorded 73 confirmed cases of COVID-19 just days after the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported the index case in the state.

In March, President Buhari approved the release of N10billion to Lagos and N5billion to the NCDC in a bid to slow the spread of the virus in the country.

In an interview with ChannelsTV, Ganduje said Kano could use that kind of money right now.

“You can understand that Kano is the most populated state in the country hence the only testing centre at AKTH is not enough for us,” the governor said.

He said the N15billion would come in handy in paying voluntary healthcare workers engaged by the state to support full time health personnel, procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and open up testing and isolation centers.

There have been reports of mass deaths from COVID-19 in Kano, with some media reports putting the toll at over 150. However, Ganduje said the reports are inaccurate.

The governor said an investigation conducted by his government at some of the cemeteries cited in the reports, revealed that 13 people had died from other ailments.

“That information is not correct because we undertook some survey and investigation (about the initial report of 70 deaths). We found out that it was only 13 deaths in that place and we will soon get a complete report but I assure you that information is not correct,” Ganduje said.

He added that “looking at previous reviews, there is nothing to show that there is unusual frequency of deaths.

“You know that there is a lot of fake news going around and we have already started arresting all those who are peddling such rumours.

“The death recorded from coronavirus is only one and the NCDC is aware of that."

His comments arrive on the heels of the closure of the newly established testing centre in Kano after some of the lab workers got infected.

“The laboratory has been closed down for today and we understand that there is an infection within the laboratory. Probably some of the technicians have tested positive but I think the federal government is handling the matter,” Ganduje said.

“Also, there is the issue of scarcity of reagents and scarcity of the bottles that convey the samples. That too has been discussed with the DG who has assured us that they are taking action,” he added.

On April 14, Ganduje ordered a shutdown of his state in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. He said the lockdown would be extended. “The lockdown was initially for one week, which is expiring tomorrow but we’ve declared that (from 6:00 am) tomorrow (to 12 midnight) will be a free day so that people will make preparations for the fasting period. By midnight, the lockdown will continue for another seven days,” the governor disclosed.

Kano is the commercial hub of northern Nigeria and the nation's's second most populous city after Lagos.

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