The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus pandemic, Dr Sani Aliyu, has disclosed that the the exact number of those who have died from the pandemic in Kano State is not yet known as the task force is still investigating the situation in the state.
This is just as the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that the pandemic in Nigeria is driven by transmission in Abuja, Lagos and Kano.
Aliyu and Ihekweazu spoke during an online WHO Africa Media Leaders Briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on the increase in the number of cases being recorded in the country.
Dr Aliyu stated that the situation in Kano is still being investigated and the exact figure on deaths in the state is unknown.
He said the COVID-19 testing laboratory in Kano was closed because some of its workers got infected and it would be open soon after disinfection and adequate measures for containment of infections taken by NCDC.
Dr Aliyu said that samples collected at this testing laboratory that serves Kano, Katsina and Kaduna are now been processed in Abuja pending the opening of the Kano laboratory.
He, however, said the major challenge to the pandemic response in Nigeria was not the availability of ventilators, but the training of health workers, particularly the availability of anaesthetists and intensive care unit (ICU) nurses.
The NCDC boss stated that controlling the outbreak in Lagos, Abuja and Kano had required an extra set of skills and capacities.
According to him, COVID-19 which has affected 26 states is on the escalation phase in the past four weeks of lockdown in different states in the country.
The NCDC boss said up till last week, 5000 people had been tested and rapidly scaling up of COVOD-19 testing had been challenged by supply of reagents and other equipment for testing.More in Home
According to him, access to reagents and other equipment for COVID-19 testing was a global challenge
“Some managed acceleration is what we are doing with a deliberate strategy on how to scale up testing. One of the lessons learnt is that we’ve got to build up our laboratory capacity
“There are no commercially available primers to test for many diseases like Lassa fever, monkeypox. It is not only in Nigeria. Like every other country that uses global health security, we have to develop global supply chains for these primers.”
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said WHO is working with its different partners to sequence the strains of coronavirus circulating in Africa
She stated that late compliance of some African countries like Tanzania to social distances and prohibition of mass gathering had have caused an expansion number of COVID-19 cases that are seen.