By Francis Sardauna
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has approved Sahel Medical Centre, a private laboratory in Katsina State, as centre for the testing of suspected Covid-19 samples.
The approval of the laboratory, which is situated in Katsina metropolis, followed series of assessments by the NCDC officials.
The Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at the Government House on the progress made by the state government on the fight against Covid-19, said the laboratory has the capability of testing 270 samples within 24 hours.
The governor explained that the state government would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the management of the laboratory to commence testing of samples.
According to him, “The state government has concluded arrangements with Sahel Medical Centre for future testing of samples from suspected Covid-19 cases. The MoU would be signed soon to commence testing this week.”
The governor also announced the immediate closure of Katsina and Daura Local Government Areas from 7: 00am on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in order to curtail the spread of the global pandemic.
He explained that the fresh stay-at-home order imposed on the areas was informed by a report from NCDC which confirmed the outbreak of 14 new cases in Daura and 13 in Katsina.
Masari, however, said the state has recorded 337 confirmed cases of Covid-19 pandemic with 18 deaths and discharged 51 across the isolation centres in the state.
“Total number of those alive is 293, those dead 18. Total is 337. Out of the confirmed 337 cases, 18 deaths were recorded. Five of the deaths occurred on patients in admission, while 13 were already dead before their samples were returned positive.
“So far, 51 patients have been discharged from our treatment centres in FMC, General Ahmadi Rimi Specialist Hospital (GASH), General Hospital Daura. There are currently 43 Covid-19 patients on admission–FMC six, GASH 19 and General Hospital Daura 18,” he said.
The governor lamented that the global Covid-19 pandemic and banditry has drastically crippled the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and commercial activities.
Although, he said the state government was not doing well in terms of IGR, but the current global health crisis has badly affected the economic growth of the state.
He said: “The Covid-19 pandemic and banditry has drastically affected the IGR of Katsina State. We were not doing well even before but the pandemic had reduced our IGR. Our markets are closed.”