By Shuaibu Zubair Tatu, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Task Force Committee on COVID-19 has confirmed that samples taken from its first index case had tested negative and the patient would be discharged and integrated into society.
The Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Jafa’ar Muhammad, who is also the state Commissioner for Health, disclosed this on Monday in Birnin Kebbi during a stakeholders meeting with NGOs and CSOs on COVID-19 response in the state.
“There are currently 24 confirmed cases in the state, including three deaths, and two out of the three deaths recorded died before their samples were collected.
“The good news now is that result of the second sample taken from the first index case is now negative.
“This means that the patient can be discharged and integrated into the society,” he said.
Muhammad urged NGOs and CSOs to penetrate rural communities with advocacies on importance of wearing face masks and personal hygiene as part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus.
According to him, over 5,000 face masks have already been distributed free to people in the state.
The commissioner, who did not disclose the daily allowances given to frontline health workers in the state, said the state government had started giving health workers at isolation centres and other sensitive places of COVID-19 their daily allowances.
Also speaking, the Wife of Kebbi governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu, cautioned cancer and diabetic patients to be careful during this pandemic.
She said the categories of such patients were more susceptible to COVID-19.
“We must not forget that other diseases: infectious and non-infectious, chronic and acute deserve our attention.
“This engagement should also encourage people to seek medical care and not allow the hue over
COVID-19 to raise fear and discourage them from seeking healthcare for other conditions.
“Persons living with co-morbidities such as asthma, cancer, diabetes and sickle cell are indeed more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and they should be more vigilant,” Shinkafi-Bagudu warned.
The governor’s wife commended health workers in the frontline for their sacrifices, assuring that she will continue to bridge and ease communication gap between them.
In his presentation at the meeting, Dr Muhammad Abdullahi, Director, Public Health, state Ministry of Health, revealed that they had so far collected 239 samples from suspected cases of COVID-19 in the state.
According to him, some of the results are negative, leaving 24 as confirmed cases recorded in the state.
Abdullahi added that five out of 21 local government areas of the state had reported cases.
The director urged residents to voluntarily contact the task force anytime they suspected COVID-19 cases in their domains.