KANO metropolis is facing the threat of a mass exodus as thousands of its citizens are leaving the city in droves for neighbouring states in fear of their lives as the growing number of deaths keeps rising on a daily basis.
There are currently 313 cases of coronavirus in Kano State, only second to Lagos State but the death toll in Kano is very low at just six individuals. However, over the last week, Kano State has suffered from a surge of other deaths, which Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has put down to other ailments like acute malaria, diabetes, hypertension and meningitis.
With around 150 dying suddenly and mysteriously, fear gripped the city as nobody knew that the cause of death was and no autopsies were carried out on the bodies. To make matters worse, the spread of coronavirus led to the closure of the only testing centre in the state as staff fled after not being provided with personal protective equipment.
In response, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control intervened, sending a 16-man team to the Mallam Aminu Kano Hospital. As a result of the intervention, the testing centre in Kano has re-opened but there is still a lot of anxiety in the ancient city, leading to them leaving in droves and inadvertently spreading the virus to neighbouring states.
Yesterday the federal government escalated its containment efforts by opening additional three mobile testing centres to strengthen the war against the virus in the state. Curiously however, Governor Ganduje, has relaxed the lockdown order during the Ramadan fating period purposes, allowing people to go and shop and congregate during the fasting month.
Over the last 24 hours, the Emir of Rano, Alhaji Tafida Abubakar Ila passed away as did the head of communications at Unicef’s Kano State chapter Mallam Rabiu Musa. To make matters worse, many street urchins known as almajiris have been asked to leave the city, many of them taking the virus with them.
This notwithstanding, the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha has said the battle against Covid-19 was winnable but with the full cooperation and support of the Nigerian people by adhering to all the safety rules and protocols. Yesterday, the Edo State government claimed it had screened over 40,000 persons in the state for Covid-19, albeit leveraging a strategic partnership with private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies to complement the screening exercise ongoing across designated government centres.