Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Task Force Committee on COVID 19 has confirmed that the samples taken from the index case in the state has tested negative and the patient would be integrated into society.
The Chairman of the task force, Hon Jafaar Muhammad, who is also Commissioner for Health, broke the news on Monday in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, during stakeholders meeting with NGOs, and civil society organisations on Kebbi State’s response to the pandemic.
Muhammad said that “there are 24 confirmed cases in the state, three death, and two out of the three deaths recorded died before their samples were collected. The good news now is that the second samples taken from the first index case, the result came negative. This means that the patient can be integrated into society.”
The commissioner, who urged the NGOs and CSOs to penetrate rural communities and promote the importance of face masks and personal hygiene, disclosed that about 5,000 face masks are ready to be distributed free of charge to people in the state.
Muhammed, who did not disclose the daily allowances given to health workers on the front lines, said the state government has nonetheless started giving each health worker working at isolation centre and other sensitive places their daily allowances.
Cautioning cancer and diabetes patients to be careful during this pandemic, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, said that such patients were especially susceptible to COVID-19.
“We must not forget that other diseases, infectious and non-infectious, chronic and acute, deserves 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 you from seeking healthcare for other conditions.
“Persons living with co-morbidities such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, sickle cell, are indeed more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and they should be more vigilant,” the Kebbi first lady said.
Dr Bagudu, who commended health workers on the frontline for their sacrifice, said she would continue to bridge and ease the communication gap between them.
In his presentation, Dr Muhammad Abdullahi, Director Public Health, Kebbi State Ministry of Health, disclosed that the ministry has collected 239 samples from suspected cases of COVID-19, while some of the results returned negative, leaving 24 confirmed cases recorded in the state.
He added that five out of the 21 local government areas in the state have reported cases, advising the public to call the task force anytime they suspect a case of coronavirus in their domains.