The Katsina Government has spent N157,750,000 for COVID-19 tests in the state.
These tests were conducted from May 31st, 2020 to date on 10,000 suspected cases of COVID-19 at a private medicare laboratory centre accredited by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
This amount is in addition to other costs on patients care, welfare packages and allowances for staff who manning the four major isolation centres in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Home Affairs, Abdulkareem Sirika who disclosed this at the Government House, in Katsina on Thursday, said every test costs the state government N15,750.
The Commissioner while revealing that the amount paid to Sahel Medicare was in addition to other costs from patients care and staff allowances, said 11,314 samples have been collected cumulatively with 675 repeats and follow-ups.
As at 2nd September 2020, the Commissioner announced that 800 positive cases have been recorded in the state with 24 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in the state.
Sirika further announced that 9,601 results were recorded as negative, stressing that only Dandume Local Government is yet to return a COVID-19 positive result.
He explained that samples from local governments are being tested for confirmation, adding that Katsina is currently ranked at the 16th position among the 36 states with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, describing it as remarkable as at the initial stage, the state was ranked number four.
He announced that activities on risk communication are being shared through social media platforms such as sending texts, video clips and dummies.
Others he said, include weekly mosques and churches announcements and regular radio and television live discussion programmes by the risk communication members.
Sirika further said that the state government has intensified sensitisation on coronavirus by local government area health teams in collaboration with information units, National Orientation Agency (NOA), traditional and religious institutions in the 34 local governments in the state.
He revealed that there are three fixed sample collection centres in the state that include Maternal and Child Health Clinic in Kofar Guga, Federal Medical Centre and General Amadi Rimi Specialist Hospital.
The Commissioner said in the other local governments, rapid response teams such as laboratory personnel were present and positioned to handle likely cases of COVID-19.
“Case finding through contact tracing will be a continuous exercise, stressing that all residents of Katsina state that meet up the criteria for testing have their samples collected and tested free of charge,” he said.
He assured that confirmed positive cases would continue to be admitted and treated for free in designated isolation centres.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary at the state Ministry of Health, Dr Kabir Mustapha announced that out of the 11,000 samples, only about 95 per cent had symptoms and among those that had symptoms, reliably not more than 20, showed severe symptoms.
“Our biggest challenge is that most of the patients that were admitted will tell you that they are hale and hearty, therefore, they don’t want to stay in the isolation centres,” Mustapha added.
“The total number of personnel that were infected at the health centre is 75 and the majority of them did not exhibit any symptoms.”