The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Friday declared that the epidemic situation in Kano had stabilised, attributing this to the good relationship between the visiting Federal Government Task Team and Kano State Task force on COVID-19.

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja

He said “One manifestation of this being the high number of new cases recorded daily from the fact that all labs in Kano are now functioning and clearing the sample backlog, with over 350 tests done daily.”

He said the state government had been doing well in opening up more treatment and isolation centres.

Mr Ehinare said a strategy document of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency was being developed and repurposed for application to Kano.

He added that it was also applicable to similar high density, high burden metropolis such as Lagos to respond more specifically to the challenges of COVID-19 tracing, tracking, testing, isolation and treatment in congested communities.

The minister said if implemented, it could go a long way in addressing many challenges looming before the country.

He said an innovation of the FMoH Kano task team is the training of journalists on Saturday, aimed at ensuring reporters are in a better position to interpret COVID-19 related data and information.

He added that it would also help them to learn to take necessary infection prevention measures.

Mr Ehinare commended Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano for providing necessary support for the federal team to function.

The minister stated a Federal Ministry of Health team had been assembled to proceed to Sokoto and Borno on fact finding and support missions to engage with state authorities and determine material and technical needs.

He said the most immediate probability is the prioritisation of these states for the deployment of repurposed Gene-Xpert machines as soon as it started to receive the cartridges in a few weeks to bring speed to testing.

In his address, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, spoke on the “New Normal” Masks, Hygiene and Distancing.

Mr Ihekweazu highlighted the need for the proper use of face masks in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

“Face masks are an additional layer of protection and should never be reused or shared with others,” he said.

Meanwhile, National Coordinator, PTF, Sani Aliyu, while speaking on the need to avoid stigmatising patients, said stigmatization undermines every effort to contain and defeat the pandemic.

Mr Aliyu said infected persons should not be stigmatized.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 193 new cases were confirmed on May 14 in 15 states.

The states were Lagos (58), Kano (46), Jigawa (35), Yobe (12), FCT (9), Ogun (7), Plateau (5), Gombe (5) Imo (4), Edo (3), Kwara (3), Borno (3), Bauchi (1), Nasarawa (1) and Ondo (1).

This brought the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 5,162 in 34 states and the FCT.

Till date, 1180 patients have been treated and discharged from hospital care and 167 deaths have sadly been recorded.

The case gender ratio remains about 70 per cent to 30 percent for men and women, respectively, while case fatality hovers around 3 percent.

A steady rise in these figures is what we envisage with more diligent testing, treatment, isolation and tracing.

Ability and capacity to keep up and align these activities with each other will determine the course of events as time goes on.

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