From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has given directives for 12 hours free period per week during the ongoing total lock down in the state occassioned by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Ganduje who stated this during the Press Briefing organized by Kano state Government Task Force on COVID-19 said people are free to move about between 10 a.m to 4 p.m every Mondays and Thursdays to get food stuff and other essential commodities to keep life going.
He also added that some designated neighbourhood Super Markets which lists would be released later will also be allowed to open so that people can buy necessary items they need for domestic use.
Ganduje, however, warned that attendants of the markets would strictly observe the COVID-19 protocols, emphasizing that the use of face-mask will be absolutely necessary in the markets.
He also warned traders to desist from hiking the prices of their commodities because of COVID-19, revealing that already the state government has drafted anti-corruption agencies who will monitor, arrest and prosecute traders who hike the prices of their goods.
He also warned that any trader who is seen cheating customers by increasing the prices of his goods will have his shop locked down, even as he faces prosecution.
Ganduje further stated that, “from the reports we have seen, no doubt that there is mass increase of COVID-19 cases in Kano. This is an issue that people should be conscious of so that we can take the protocols very seriously.”
He added that with the help of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Test Centre at AKTH has become operational, “although we are still taking samples to Abuja because of the low capacity of the NCDC Test Centre.”
According to Ganduje, ” the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has promised to bring a Mobile Test Centre which has the capacity of testing 400 people per day,” adding that with time, the Mobile testing will increase to testing up to 1000 people per day.
Ganduje also hinted that the Bayero University Kano (BUK) Test Centre will soon be operational.
He regretted that, ” the set back we have witnessed for some weeks now without Test Centre contributed to the high level of cases that Kano has recorded.
Ganduje who said that the state has increased the number of Isolation Centres to accommodate more patients who have tested positive to the Corona Virus, urged residents to strictly obey the lockdown order for their own good.
He also advised people to abide by personal hygiene and observe social distancing, pointing out that, “we are happy that people are accepting the fact that COVID-19 is a reality.”
Also speaking, the chairman of Kano state Task Force on COVID-19 who is also the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said his Committee is working closely with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure that the pandemic is roundly stamped out from Kano.
He added that his Committee has concluded plans to convert the state Library Complex, Daula Hotel, Kano state Sports Complex, among others to Isolation Centres.
He said the front line Doctors and Nurses and Engineers are ready as over 3000 personnel are being trained to work on the Isolation Centres.
Gawuna advised residents to strictly adhere to COVID-19 protocols by regular wearing of face-mask, regular washing of hands, social distancing, stay-at-home and strict obedience to the lockdown order.