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Kano’s COVID-19 crisis needs war-time strategy, says Aisha Oyebode-Muhammed

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Aisha Oyebode-Muhammed

The eldest child of the former Head of State, late General Murtala Muhammed, Mrs Aisha Oyebode-Muhammed has called for a war-time strategy among other measures to check the increasing deaths of residents in Kano state over the dreaded Convid-19 pandemic.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF), Oyebode-Muhammed declared that the situation in her home state deserved a strong leadership action, and not to adopt a fatalist view of the situation or remain in denial.

In an opened letter to the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, copy which was made available to newsmen in Lagos, on Wednesday, Oyebode-Muhammed lamented that “Kano state already has considerable developmental challenges that threaten to be compounded by this pandemic. We have a huge population, endemic poverty and high rates of illiteracy amongst other indicators that make us extremely vulnerable.

“This portends horrendous catastrophe for our people if, God forbid, we lose the war against COVID 19. I, therefore, entreat you to take necessary action to urgently address this predicament and save the people of Kano.”

She, however, recommended 7-point steps as a way forward, which according to her demanded urgent and coordinated actions.

She listed them as: declaration of a state of emergency in Kano State with immediate effect; the exercise of powers as governor to lockdown the entire Kano State and work with the Nigerian security forces to enforce this; embarking on a community awareness program to sensitize all indigenes and residents of the state to protocols that have been prescribed by the WHO including hand washing, social distancing, use of face masks and self-isolation and adoption of wartime strategies to minimize the spread of the virus, which would include commandeering existing infrastructure as isolation centres, in particular, repurposing boarding schools and university accommodation as much needed beds for the sick.

She also called for intense tracing, categorization and management of contacts, equipping health care workers on the frontline with adequate PPEs and adoption of NCDC guidelines in dealing with those who have been confirmed infected, as well as enforce adherence to guidelines for the burial of the deceased.

“Nigeria and indeed Africa, have been lucky, as our treatment outcomes so far have been remarkable. Therefore, urgent and coordinated action must be taken and the support of all stakeholders must be sought to turn the tide against this aggressive contagion in Kano State, to save us from the dire projected outcomes.

“Your Excellency, we are looking to you for direction and leadership at this time, and assure you of our support and that of many well-meaning individuals and institutions within and outside the state. Every minute counts! May God help us,” the MMF chief executive officer stated.


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