The National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu said contrary to reports that the Kano COVID-19 testing laboratory was closed due to the lack of reagents, the facility was closed because some of its staff tested positive for COVID-19.
He also mentioned that prior to the outbreak of the disease in Nigeria, the country had only 350 ventilators, and that about 100 have been added as the country prepares for a possible surge of the virus.
Aliyu who spoke during a virtual press briefing by the World Economic Forum/World Health Organisation, and monitored by THISDAY , said the laboratory was closed to allow for decontamination as they were unsure if the staff contracted it during analysis of samples or from outside the facility.
He said: “The Kano testing laboratory was closed down because one or two persons in the lab acquired COVID-19. It wasn’t very clear whether they acquired it in the facility or it was brought it. This has raised concerns, so we have taken measures to disinfect the place.
“However, samples can still be collected as we have put measures in place to ensure samples are taking. That Kano laboratory serves Katsina and Kaduna; so, three states are actually affected by this.”
He added that the laboratory will not be closed for too long as they intend to decontaminate the facility for three or four days.
He also said the PTF on COVID-19 was monitoring the Kano’s situation closely, adding that the federal government presently does not know the true number of deaths from Kano until investigations was concluded.
He said: “There are several scenarios that could be happening; one is that there could be increase in numbers of death due to COVID-19, the other possibility is that it may not be COVID. You are aware a lot of hospitals in Kano have closed so people with medical concerns are having difficulty accessing care, so the deaths may not be related to the virus. We are waiting the investigation from the team to ascertain the true picture