Kano state the commercial nerve centre of northern Nigeria, recorded its first case of COVID-19 on the 16, April, 2020.
Since the discovery of the index case the number of infected persons in the state skyrocketed within few days, taking the toll in the state to 73 on Tuesday before testing was halted, because the Nigerian Center for Disease Control ( NCDC) said it has commenced fumigation of the center.
The rise in the number of persons infected with the novel virus in the state in just three days, sent shivers among residents .
Platinumpost investigation revealed that the number of testing kits and reagents in the center at Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital ( AKTH), is grosly inadequate.
According to the National Population Census of 2006, Kano has a population of 9,401,288 people. Recent conservative projections estimate the population of the state to be around 15 million people. Given the diversity of its population, and its strategic position of the state as the centre of commerce in North, experts had pointed out that it was only a matter of time before Kano state would record its COVID-19 index case.
Platinumpost findings revealed that the only testing center in the state is currently closed.
However, what is more worrisome is that not only the laboratory is currently closed, but even when it is open it can only process 88 samples only per day, againts hundreds of suspects samples collected daily.
Presently samples are sent to Abuja as the state await reopening of the center in the state.
No doubt, the state needs a bigger and numerous testing centers owing to its population.
So far, majority of the infected persons are from the metropolitan local government which constitute about 60% of the population.
With the highest number of local governments of 44 in Nigeria, the state definitely needs more testing centers.
This newspaper further gathered that the collection of samples is equally being hampered by logistic constrain such as limited numbers of swab sticks, among others, that are only provided by NCDC which are equally in short supply.
A source in the laboratory who doesn’t want his name mentioned in print said “ Last time we requested they gave 100. Meaning only 100 people can be tested and our need are in tens of thousands! Up till yesterday only about 600 was giving to Kano in total.”
Meanwhile, The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has directed the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to send an enhanced support team to Kano State to mobilise resources for contact tracing.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, said this on Thursday at the taskforce’s daily briefing in Abuja.
When contacted for comment, the coordinator of the Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), Professor Isa Abubakar could not speak, according to him, he is not authorised to speak on the matter.
This COVID-19 Accountability Report is produced through collaboration between Platinum Post and The Explainer with support of the Resource Centre for Human Rights&Civic Education (CHRICED) and Misereor KZE of Germany.