The Federal Government on Tuesday said it was more worried by the rising cases of COVID-19 in Kano State.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, who said this in Abuja at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the Federal Government would increase its support for the highly populated state to stop the spread of the virus.
Also, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, at the briefing, said the task force was concerned about the increasing cases of the virus in the state.
He also commented on the recent multiple deaths in the state, which the state government on Monday said it was investigating.
Besides, some residents, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said they were disturbed by the upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the state, which was free of the virus last month.
Kano State recorded its first COVID-19 case on April 11 when a retired ambassador, who had gone on a trip to the United Kingdom, was diagnosed with the virus.
The cases shot up to 59 on Monday as 23 more persons were infected with the virus, whose spread was hastened by the index case, who was reported to have attended a Jumat prayer in Kano.
Also, reports of recent increasing deaths in the state have worsened fear that cases of the virus in the highly populated state may be higher than what is being reported.
Like Lagos, we are worried about Kano —Minister
But at the PTF press briefing, Mamora expressed worry about coronavirus cases in Kano State.
He stated that the population density of Kano could be compared to Lagos, which is the epicentre of the virus in the country.
He said, “Part of what we will do is to increase the support for Kano. Kano and Lagos have the highest population and, naturally, we would be worried.
“What Lagos has is also what Kano has in terms of population, the density of population and activities, commercial and otherwise. So, we will need to do more of contact tracing, where we can, testing, isolation, and treatment.”
On his part, PTF coordinator, Aliyu said the Federal Government and the PTF had noted the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state. He said the task force was working with the state government to tackle the surge.
He said, “We are closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo states. We note with particular concern, Kano State and we have engaged closely with the state government. (But) because we are increasing the number of tests as we ramp up, we are likely to have increase in the number of cases.”
The national coordinator said the PTF had sent Rapid Response Teams to Kano, adding that the task force continued to engage with the government in terms of testing.
“The test centre in Kano started last week. We are also looking at opening more centres for taking samples so that we can increase the number of tests and also improve the efficiency of contact tracing.”