By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State Government said it had paid N157,750,000 to a private laboratory, Sahel Medicare Centre, for testing of 10,000 COVID-19 cases across the state.
The state Chairman, Public enlightenment Committee on COVID-19, Mr. Abdulkareem Sirika, revealed this to journalists at a press conference at the Government House.
Sahel Medicare Centre, located within Katsina metropolis, was accredited by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for testing of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Sirika, who is also the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Home Affairs, explained that a total of 11, 314 samples had so far been collected cumulatively, with 675 repeats and follow ups.
According to him, “The 10,000 cases were registered from 31st May, 2020 to date and the amount paid to Sahel Medicare was in addition to other costs on patients’ care and staff allowances.”
He reiterated that 800 positive cases had been recorded with 24 deaths, while 9,601 were recorded as negative since the outbreak of the global health crisis in the state.
The commissioner affirmed that state government had established three sample collection centres in the state that included Maternal and Child Health Clinic in kofar Guga, Federal Medical Centre, Katsina and General Amadi Rimi Specialist Hospital to effectively tackle the pandemic.
While assuring that his committee would not relent in creating awareness to the public on COVID-19 safety measures, Sirika said the committee is working with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), traditional and religious institutions in the 34 local governments in the state.