Dr Sani Gwarzo, the Team Leader, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 delegation to Kano State, has called on the residents of the state to observe all prevention protocols to stem further spread of the virus.
Gwarzo made the call while reacting to lack of adherence to the lockdown directive, physical distancing and other precautionary measures to curb the spread of virus by residents of Kano metropolis.
He attributed the rising infections to the poor attitude and perception of the people on the virus, lamenting that the trend exposed communities to viral transmission.
Gwarzo stressed the need for communication and behaviour change to create awareness on the virus and preventive measures against the disease.
“Awareness is a major challenge; until the people are ready to accept the realities that COVID-19 is real then we have a long way to go .
”Most of the residents are yet to believe the seriousness of the pandemic and take precautionary measures against spread of the disease through community transmission.
“The Presidential Task Force is here to support the state team; we are not creating a parallel structure we only have instruction from the Federal Government to come and assist by working with the team.
“The Presidential Task Force is here to resolve challenges affecting efforts to contain the pandemic,” he said.
Gwarzo said there are three well equipped isolation centres and hospitals to effectively handle COVID-19 patients in the state.
He said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) molecular laboratories at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and Bayero University Kano has 180 and 80 daily smaples capacity respectively.
“The two centres have 260 daily samples capacity and with the 400 daily samples capacity mobile test laboratory donated by Dangote Foundation, there will be tremendous improvement,” he said.
According to him, the mobile test centre will be upgraded to about 1, 000 daily samples capacity soon.
Meanwhile, some residents of the metropolis have expressed concern over lack of adherence to physical distancing and prevention protocols during funeral rites amid increase in the number of deaths recorded in the area.
Alhaji Usman Umar, a resident of Kano, told NAN that physical distancing during funerals “will not be possible as it is very strange”.
“In Islam, if someone dies, at least minimum of 40 people should perform the funeral prayers.
“Physical distancing is a new thing, it will take time before people adapt to it, even though there is strange death ravaging the metropolis.”
Umar called on the state government to strictly enforce the physical distancing order especially during funerals.
Another resident, Malam Sani Muhammad, told NAN that residents observed the funeral prayers without adhering to physical distancing.
“We did not observe physical distancing during the burial of my brother, who died on April 26, during his funeral prayers,” Muhammad said.
A housewife, Saratu Isa, noted that she lost her dad two days earlier, adding that during the funeral prayers physical distancing was not practiced as people came en-masse for the funeral.
“During the period I used my face mask and practiced physical distancing, inspite of all the efforts people still came close to me.
“We pray Allah to continue to forgive, guide, protect the nation, bring an end to the strange deaths and the pandemic,” Isa said.
She called on the state government to enforce the physical distancing directive, especially as part of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.