A group of prominent Kano elders under the aegis of, “Kano against COVID-19” has blamed the Kano state Government for laxity in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The elders in a statement on Friday signed by the former NRC presidential candidate, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, Mr. A.B. Mahmoud, SAN, Professor Auwalu Hamisu Yadudu, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim and Mrs Maryam Uwais, among others, said unlike in Lagos where the government has shown professionalism in handling the virus, the Kano Government was ill-prepared.
“It was obvious that there was inadequate preparation at the state level and control measures were ineffective. There was lack of clear messaging to the citizens. Discordant tunes were also coming from some religious and community leaders expressing doubts about the existence of the disease.
“The lockdown subsequently introduced by the state authorities was not vigorously enforced even after the federal authorities extended the period.
“There was seeming dissonance in the institutional framework for the coordination of the State COVID-19 control efforts, including crisis within the Task Force, after some of its members became infected. The only testing facility at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) was temporarily closed after being contaminated” they said.
“Currently, the continuation of congregational prayers in some mosques, playing of football and other sports, mass attendance of burials and mourning scenarios all indicate a very poor understanding of social distancing, which must be urgently addressed.
“Working with stakeholders to popularize the advisory delivered by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) on the interment of possible victims of COVID-19 pandemic (which recommends safer and Islamically legitimate ways of washing, shrouding carrying out Janazah prayers for suspected COVID-19 victims), the Initiative would support enforcement efforts, which also complies with the NCDC guidelines for burials.
“It is strongly recommended that attendance at funerals (Salatul Janazah and burial) for all deceased (COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19) during the period of the pandemic should not be encouraged by all people, due to the high potential for COVID-19 infection.”
The elders suggested “establishing the extent and pattern of the epidemic by rapidly expanding testing and the provision of more testing centres and kits; the provision of more bed spaces for isolation, holding areas and case management of patients and the unified management protocols for all COVID patients in the state”
They further recommended that “there is urgent need for the procurement and delivery of sufficient PPEs for their protection.
“Most medical centres in the state have stopped admitting patients for non-COVID-19 infections and a system of triage, sorting and provision of telemedicine facilities should be introduced urgently to ensure medical care for all sick persons. Urgent measures to provide for the welfare of advocacy for health care workers- comprising remuneration, accommodation, adequate protection and health insurance.”