Former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Prof Usman Yusuf has accused Kano State governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje of spreading Coronavirus across northern states, warning that what is currently happening in Kano can bring down the whole of Africa.
He categorically warned, in an interview with Saturday Sun, that if urgent steps were not taken to halt the spate of deaths, Nigeria’s end has started in Kano "because if Kano goes down, the whole of Nigeria goes with it, as well as Africa".
The professor of haematology-oncology and bone marrow trans-plantation lamented that while hundreds are dying every day with no solution in Kano, Governor Ganduje keeps denying the death and at the same time requesting for N15billion from the Federal Government.
His words, "I have done my own work, which is to let the world know that Kano was going down; that COVID-19 is killing people in their hundreds in that state... Nigeria is in trouble; Kano is in trouble, if care is not taken, Kano will kill all of us. Nigeria and Nigerians need to wake up to the reality that Kano will bring the whole of Africa down.
"People are dying, the cemeteries are filling up; in every household there is somebody that is sick right now. Four persons, three professors in the university and my friend, who is a former vicar died yesterday (Monday). Hospitals are shutting down, and the only teaching hospital, there is no capacity, not even hand gloves. They are just telling the president lies."
Yusuf, who accused the Kano Governor of taking "very thoughtless action" in the midst of the pandemic, said, "As a result of his negligence, Gov. Ganduje is also exporting COVID-19 to the neighboring states of Katsina and Jigawa by repatriating hundreds of Almajiris who are most likely infected by COVID-19 to their states of origin.
"The Kano governor is planting corona virus all across the Northwest and the Northeast. Already, the ones he deported to Kastina, Kaduna, Gombe are all positive."
On how to resolve the dire situation, the former NHIS boss asserted, "firstly, there should be an immediate and forceful federal presence in Kano. Secondly, the Presidential Task Force should relocate to Kano and make it its new theatre of operation reporting to the President. Thirdly, people should immediately be provided with food supplies to enable humane but strict enforcement of total lockdown, which remains the only way of breaking the spread of the virus.
"Again, the president should address the nation on these deaths with specific plans on what the FGN will do. NCDC lab in Kano should immediately be opened with increased testing capacity. Healthcare workers should immediately be provided with PPE. Hospitals need drugs, consumables, ICU spaces, and ventilators. All deaths and infections from COVID-19 should be properly recorded.
"Swabs should be taken for the COVID-19 test from all corpses to enable proper mapping of the spread of the virus and the protection of contacts. Recruit an Army of contact tracers from local nurses and community health extension workers (CHEWS) to help in tracing contacts. Engage traditional, religious, and community leaders. Lastly, mount an aggressive public education campaign."