Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State
The Kano health ministry confirmed on Wednesday night that the populous northern state had recorded its first death from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also confirmed 12 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 21 within one week.
The ministry made this known on its Twitter handle @KNSMOH.
“As at Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 11:55 p.m., one death from COVID-19 was recorded in Kano State.
“As at the same time, 12 additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, bringing the total number to 21,” it said.
The ministry’s tweet was written about 30 minutes after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control indicated that Kano had a total of 16 cases.
The spokesperson of the Kano State health ministry, Hadiza Namadi, told SUMMITNEWS on Thursday that she could not explain the reason behind the disparity nor ascertain the number of COVID-19 patients in Kano isolation centres.
Ms Namadi, who confirmed that the Twitter handle belongs to her ministry, said only members of the state task force have the data.
When contacted, Hassan Fagge, the chief press secretary to the Kano State deputy governor, Nasiru Gawuna, who is also the chairman of the task force on COVID-19, told newsmen that the tests are now being conducted in Kano, and the additional figure might have come after the NCDC’s daily update.
He also could not ascertain the number of patients currently receiving treatment at the state’s facilities for COVID-19. However, going by the official figures, with 21 confirmed cases and one death, 20 people are believed to be receiving treatment in Kano.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had on Tuesday ordered a total lockdown of the state from Thursday (today) for a period of seven days.
He said the lockdown would be enforced throughout the state.
A spokesperson for Mr Ganduje said the governor has ordered security agencies in the state to ensure full enforcement of the lockdown as no movement would be tolerated.
He said the lockdown would take effect from 10 p.m., on Thursday (today) and warned that violators would be arrested.
With a population of over nine million people, Kano is the most populated state in the northern region.
There are concerns that the social life of the people may not help the efforts to curb its spread of the deadly virus.
Before the first case was recorded there, the government had blocked access into the state. But within the state, little or nothing was done to promote safety measures like social distancing, use of facemask and hand washing.
Despite the directive of Mr Ganduje that people of the state should wash their hands regularly with running water, use hand sanitizer, keep their environment clean, avoid large assembly, particularly markets and other public places, among others, the residents carried on with their normal daily activities as if there was no pandemic in sight.
Mega markets and commercial places like Kantin-Kwari, Sabon-gari, Dawanau, France Road Market, Janguza and Abubakar Rimi Markets among others maintained high traffics and crowd without adherence to any safety measures.
Various mosques observed Friday services with the usual large crowds.