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Bauchi governor orders treatment of COVID-19 patients with chloroquine, dectomax

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Bala Mohammed


• Says ‘I will take responsibility’
• Katsina slashes budget, locks down 10 councils

Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed has ordered the state’s task force and healthcare personnel to use chloroquine and dectomax in treating coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to avoid deaths in the state. He described the drugs as “effective” in the treatment of COVID-19, saying the drugs and efforts of doctors saved his life from the pandemic.

While briefing newsmen on the efforts of his government in curtailing the spread of the virus yesterday, Mohammed said he would take responsibility of any outcome of the drugs’ administration.

He said, “We have six ventilators, should anything go wrong. So far, nothing has gone wrong. The 18 cases we have just recorded increased our total cases to 29; six persons have been discharged, 23 on admission and no death. Our medical team is using their own acumen to use chloroquine, dectomax and other things, though in some places, they said it is not protocol.

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“But, as a governor, I will take responsibility; I don’t want anyone to die. I have given the directive. They must use something that other patients and I have used to get well; rather than saying that something is sample, when we are used to taking chloroquine in Nigeria.”

But Katsina State Government has slashed its 2020 budget by 30 per cent due to the COVID-19-indiced economic crisis. It has also locked down 10 councils to stop the spread of the virus, following the discovery of more cases.

The budget, which was more than N240 billion, has now been reduced to a little over N215 billion. The Commissioner for Budget and Economic planning, Farouk Lawal, stated this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of Wednesday’s State Executive Council (SEC) meeting.

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Lawal said since the Federal Government had reviewed its budget and adjusted oil benchmark from $57 to $30 per barrel, it was only natural for states to follow suit. He added that the reviewed budget would be funded with small interest loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and sale of bonds.

The reviewed budget to accommodate the implementation of services as they affect infectious diseases, The Guardian gathered, will soon be taken to the House of Assembly for consideration and passage.

The councils locked down include Daura, Katsina, Dutsinma, Mani and Jibia. Others are Batagarawa, Safana, Kankia, Matazu and Musawa.Lockdown for Kankia, Matazu and Musawa took effect from 7a.m. today, while the rest had earlier been locked down by Governor Aminu Masari.

Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mustapha Inuwa, stated that the lockdown was in line with decision to “shut down any council where COVID-19 is established.”

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