From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has inaugurated Task Force to battle the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Ganduje on Friday ordered the immediate upgrading of Kano’s Isolation Centre and installation of more equipment.
He also inspected Screening Facilities at Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).
According to him, the drastic actions taken so far by the state government were for the purpose of redoubling efforts towards proactive response to COVID-19 in the state.
Recall that Ganduje recently inaugurated the COVID-19 Response Committee as part of strategies to institutionalize Rapid Response against the current globa COVID-19 situation.
The Inauguration which attracted many scholars and health experts from Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and other health institutions, alongside development partners, took place at Ante Chamber, Kano Government House.
Ganduje who described the Task Force as an all-important body, said its inauguration would pave way for the consolidation of the designed response in the state, assuring that the state government would do everything possible to support the Task Force for effective and efficient intervention.
He gave the Terms of Reference of the Task Force Committee to include assessing the present situation and the risk of COVID-19 in Kano state; coordinate the response of the state to the threat posed by it, through multi-disciplinary approach and inter-sectoral collaboration; and to also advise the government on necessary steps and decisions that should be taken to combat the threat of COVID-19.
Other Terms according to Ganduje include Weekly briefing of His Excellency, the Executive Governor, and the State Executive Council on the situation on ground; coordinate resource mobilisation for the virus’s unwanting outbreak.
Ganduje directed the Task Force Committee to liaise with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies at national and sub-national levels on response to the pandemic problem, among others.
The state Deputy Governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna is the Chairman of the Task Force Committee; Co-Chairman is Prof. Abdul-Razaq Garba Habib, Head of Infectious Disease Unit, from Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano; while the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, is a member; and Dr. Imam Wada Bello, Director Public Health and Disease Control, will serve as the Secretary of the Task Force.
Other members of the Committee are Prof. Isa Sadiq Abubakar from BUK; Dr. Amina Abdullahi Ganduje, from BUK; Dr. Shehu Abdullahi, Director Medical Services, State Ministry of Health; Dr. Bashir Abba, State Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO); Dr Shamsuddeen Sani, from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Maulid Warfa, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF; Dr. Mustapha Tukur, State Lead, CDC/NSTOP.
The Committee also consists of representatives of all the security agencies, representative of the five Emirate Councils, Alhaji Wada Aliyu Gaya, District Head of Ajingi and other relevant stakeholders, including the Secretary of the Red Cross; and Director Information from the state Ministry of Information, Inuwa Idris Yakasai.
At an interactive session held with journalists prior to the inauguration of the Task Force, Ganduje promised that the state government would work hand-in-hand with relevant agencies, organisations and individuals in making sure that, the proactive measures taken by his administration succeed.
“I would want to use this opportunity to thank Zenith Bank, that comes to us without being approached, and assured that they would give their assistance towards effective response to the situation. We shall approach other private organisations and individuals,” he added.
Ganduje further disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to establish screening points at all entry points in Kano state, adding that, “just recently, we completed establisment of security points through the major entry points to our dear state.
“Since we are also going to partner with security agencies for proper screening, we are going to use those security points for our screening exercises of those coming to Kano from those ends.”
In his remarks, the Co-Chairman of the Task Force, Prof. Habib, commended the state government for being proactive from day one up to the time of inaugurating the Task Force, re-emphasizing that COVID-19 is a global problem.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tsanyawa stated that, “there are five strategies put in place to respond in the most appropriate way to this global phenomenon.
“The strategies include heightened surveillance and identification of potential suspects; efficient contact tracing, enhance risk communication and behavioral changes; effective management of confirmed cases, if any; and psychological support of confirmed cases, if any.”
Meanwhile, during the inspection of the Kano Isolation Centre, Ganduje promised to upgrade the Centre, that took care of the suspected Lassa Fever cases few weeks back and prepared for any unwanting Corona Virus suspected case(s) that might crop up.
The AUTHORITY reports that the Centre is situated at Yar Gaya, few kilometres away from Kano metropolis, in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area.
Ganduje inspected the facility and was briefed about the state of the facility by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Tsanyawa.
According to Ganduje, “this Centre will be upgraded and will have more equipment that are of global standard. There is no mincing words in this.”
Prior to his visit to the Isolation Centre, Ganduje was at Kano Airport where he also inspected screening facilities at that entry point, assuring that his government would always support the good and proactive measures that were being taken by the Committee and other stakeholders.
He urged passengers affected by the necessary closure of the airport’s International Wing by the Federal Government, to see the directive as another way of sacrifice for the safety of all.