Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari has said that the total lock down on the movement of people to take effect this Tuesday in Katsina will also cover Batagarawa local government area.
The Governor hinted this when he received the Director General of the Nigerria center for disease control- NCDC along with the country representive of World Health Organization- WHO on a courtesy call at Government house, katsina.
According to him, separating Katsina with Batagarawa could not be easy considering the proxomity between the two areas.
Alhaji Aminu Masari lamented that the first discovery of Covid-19 index case had reached over two months now in Nigeria.
He informed the visiting NCDC Director General and WHO Representative in Nigeria that Katsina state government had since established a Covid-19 Rapid Response team headed by the state Deputy Governor with membership mostly from the ministry of health, information, security agencies Representatives, and religious leaders.
He said that Katsina society being purely an Islamic society, adding that anything that government wants to do must be religiously inclined, otherwise there will be problem in the implementation.
Apart from the response committee, he said that there was a committee of traditional rulers and committee of traders and members of the Union of transport workers .
He said several civil society organizations were also coopted in the enlightenment committee to help curtail the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
Alhaji Aminu Masari explained that the problems that the state government is having with the lockdown is that alot of Young men from katsina state are scattered all over Nigeria, especially Lagos, port Harcourt and Abuja, adding that these youths are coming back by avoiding official entry points because of the vastness of the land.
This, he said made government to involve traditional rulers so that returnees could be identified and quarantine for 14 days, stressing that those who comes back through official borders are being recorded and data taken to quarantine them too.
The Governor lamented that government has a long journey, saying that the journey could be made easier if there are testing laboratory very close to katsina.
He observed that if katsina state has materials for taking samples and the logistics to move the samples to the testing centers.
Governor Aminu Masari stated that the testing center in Kano is temporarily shut down, adding that for samples from katsina to reach Abuja has to be there in 12 hours time.
Initially, he said he learned that there was a container that could preserve the samples for 48 hours but to be access within 24 hours.
He therefore contended that samples from katsina had to reach Abuja in 24 hours otherwise it would not be tested.
Alhaji Aminu Masari however noted that ignorance on the dangers of the virus , adding that a lot of sensitisation campaigns is going on to educate the people of the state on the pandemic.
He said that the first approach was to shut down any local government that a positive case was discovered.
He told the visiting NCDC Director General and WHO Representative that 80 percent of the positive cases in the state are from the case index in Daura.
He said considering the society in Northern Nigeria, any state that said it has no case of Covid-19 is because no one is tested.
The Governor explained that there was need to do more testings , saying that the biggest challenge is testing .
He said if government will have it’s way in the state, every citizen will be tested.
By tuesday, he said that there will be a total lockdown in katsina and Batagarawa.
He again announced that some food stores , pharmaceutical shops and some key shopping centres will be allowed to operate.
He asked the federal government to stop some states from returning non indegenes to their states of origin, which means such people with the virus could be stop and treated instead of transporting them with the virus to home states.
Earlier, the Director General of NCDC, Dr chikwe Ihekweazu announced that the centre had big challenges in some parts of the country, adding that the goal of the centre is to keep the other part of the country as quite as possible while responding to the part of the nation where there was increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
He said that they are in Katsina to encourage the government to continue supporting the team responding to the outbreak.
He said the Emergency Preparedness and Response -EPR , the Emergency Operation Centre-EOC and everybody working with the teams will have to be kept busy to contain emerging challenges for as long as new cases are being detected.
He hoped that the teams would be able to continue to find solutions to the situation that the state found itself with regards to the Covid-19.
He assured that the visitation team being led by him would be visiting isolation and treatment centres in the state and advise appropriately on ways to run them in accordance with the standard best practices.
Right now, Dr chikwe said a lot of scientists are working on a vaccine which may not be ready for up to a year, stressing that a mechanism had to be established for controlling the spread of Covid-19.
He announced that next week Mr President will be making some difficult decisions for the nation in terms of the lockdown in two states and FCT and across the country in different ways.
The Director General said Mr President will on Wednesday have a tele conference with the Governors and there will be some difficult decisions to be made on how to restart the economy, especially on what to start and what not to start.
He said that the truth is that Nigeria could not get back to pre-Covid 19 era , saying some adjustments had to be made in the country’s engagements with the outside world.
Hassan Muhammad Tukur
Katsina Gazette/ Fitilar Katsina
Ministry of information