As part of efforts to ameliorate the hardship caused by the lockdown of the state, Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje has announced a 12-hour break on Monday and Thursday to allow residents stock-up food items and other essential commodities.
Ganduje who noted that markets would be opened between 10 am to 4 pm on the said days warned that attendants of the markets would strictly observe the COVID-19 protocols including the compulsory use of face-mask.
The governor disclosed this at a press briefing organised by Kano State Government Task Force on COVID-19 on Saturday.
He, however, stated that the list of some designated neighbourhood supermarkets which will be opened to the people will soon be released.
Ganduje warned traders to desist from hiking the prices of their commodities because of COVID-19, adding that the state government has commissioned anti-corruption agencies who will monitor, arrest and prosecute traders who hike the prices of their goods.
According to him, any trader who is seen cheating customers by increasing the prices of goods will have his shop locked down, even as he faces prosecution.
Ganduje said: “From the reports we have seen, no doubt that there is a mass increase of COVID-19 cases in Kano. This is an issue that people should be conscious of so that we can take the protocols very seriously.”
He added that with the help of President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Test Centre at AKTH has become operational but “we are still taking samples to Abuja because of the low capacity of the NCDC Test Centre.
“The richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has promised to bring a Mobile Test Centre which has the capacity of testing 400 people per day.”
He added that with time, the mobile testing will increase to testing capacity in the state to 1000 people per day.
Ganduje also hinted that the Bayero University Kano (BUK) test centre will soon be operational.
“The set back we have witnessed for some weeks now without test centre contributed to the high level of cases that Kano has recorded.”
Ganduje who said that the state has increased the number of isolation centres to accommodate more patients who have tested positive to the coronavirus urged residents to strictly obey the lockdown order.
He also advised people to abide by personal hygiene and observe social distancing, pointing out that, “we are happy that people are accepting the fact that COVID-19 is a reality.”
Also speaking, the chairman of Kano State Task Force on COVID-19 who is also the deputy governor, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said his committee is working closely with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure that the pandemic is roundly stamped out from Kano.
According to him, his committee has concluded plans to convert the State Library Complex, Daula Hotel, Kano State Sports Complex, among others to isolation centres.
He said the front line doctors and nurses and engineers are ready as over 3,000 personnel are being trained to work on the isolation centres.