The Presidential task force (PTF) on Covid-19 has mobilised about 3300 informants to conduct house-to-house search for suspected coronavirus infection cases in Kano State.
The PTF chairman Boss Mustapha who appeared before members of the House of Representatives probing into cases of mysterious death in kano state disclosed that those recruited had worked for the World Health Organisation (WHO) programme on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the state before now.
He stated that the federal government will in due course announce significant additional material and technical resources to complement the State government’s efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Kano.
The PTF boss further unveiled the plan to establish state-of-the-art intensive care units and isolation/treatment centres in each of the 36 States and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
Mustapha further expressed the resolve to upgrade molecular laboratory facilities across the country and ensure that a COVID-19 testing centre is available in every State through the utilization of existing GeneXpert machines.
The PTF chief explained that the scale-up of infrastructure will also require additional staff training and a review of existing manpower needs for the country.
He noted: “There’s no doubt that a strengthened and well-resourced health system will not only place the country in a better position to deal with future emerging infections such as Lassa fever but will also provide a solid foundation for medical research and development.
“The post-COVID-19 era is going to be a challenging one. As a country, we need to prepare for what will be major changes to our long-term social interactions, events, personal contacts and economic prospects.”
He called on the lawmakers to amend the Quarantine Act in line with the emerging infections such as COVID-19, whose dramatic impact goes beyond the health sector of the economy.
On the Situation in Kano fast emerging as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the North, he said his out have deployed a technical team of 41 staff from NCDC supported by 17 staff from WHO to provide technical assistance to the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC).
He further stated that a team of clinicians and public health experts under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Health is also in Kano to provide training on case management and strengthen the capacity of the State to handle emergencies.
He however admitted that a key weakness of the Kano COVID-19 response is the lack of adequate manpower for surveillance and contact tracing.
As part of measures putnin place to address the challenges, he said: “We are establishing at least one sample collection centre and two facilitators per LGA. In addition to a 7-day motorised campaign across major urban areas in Kano.