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Kano opens isolation, emergency centre to check spread of Lassa fever

Hospital-ward Warns fuel marketers against diversion of products
KANO State government has established an emergency control centre to coordinate response on highly infectious diseases across health care facilities in the state. This is to curtail further outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

KANO State government has established an emergency control centre to coordinate response on highly infectious diseases across health care facilities in the state. This is to curtail further outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

Two fresh cases of Lassa fever were confirmed last week at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, who explained the measures already put in place by the government against further spread of the disease, noted that an isolation centre was created for the management of the disease.

Dr. Ibrahim who further hinted that the victims – a man and his son who later died at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital were referred from a primary care centre, added that public apprehension on possible complication of the cases was unnecessary, stressing that about 20 people who had contact with the victims have been traced and already placed under close monitoring.

While reassuring people of government’s efforts, he said the Ministry of Health in collaboration with other agencies had deployed experts to the community where the victims were brought to sensitise them about their personal and environmental hygiene.

He added that, “The state is capable of managing the situation. People should not be worried because right from inception when we received the information we swung into action immediately. We collected the sample of the cases and sent this to Lagos, which the result confirmed positive.

“From then we visited the community where the persons came from to track all the contacts for close monitoring because one of the major areas of control measures of the infection is monitoring of the possible contacts of the affected persons. This is a disease with high transmission tendencies from person to person through close contact. We traced about 20 contacts and we are monitoring them daily to make sure they have not contacted the disease. The incubation period of the virus is 21 days. After that we can be rest assured the fear of further spread is over.”

Also, the commissioner said the ministry has commenced sensitisation workshop for health care workers at tertiary and state-owned hospitals for personal precaution.

Dr. Ibrahim said the isolation centre is equipped with drugs and personal protective equipment as well as medical personnel.

Meanwhile, marketers caught diverting petroleum products in Kano State will henceforth pay a fine of N150 per litre of the diverted product.

Alhaji Rabiu Bako, Chairman of the Task Force on Distribution of Petroleum Products in the state said this during a news conference at the weekend in Kano.

Bako said the measure was to check the continued fuel shortage being experienced in the state.

Bako, who is also the Commissioner for Commerce in the state, said marketers had not heeded to earlier warnings to desist from sharp practices.

“The decision followed series of warnings by the task force to oil marketers in the state to desist from sharp practices and illegal increases in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” he said.

He said any marketer found diverting petroleum products would be sanctioned and also risk forfeiting such products.

Bako said the warning was necessary in order to ensure that products reached the designated filling stations across the state.

The chairman said the task force had confiscated eight drums and 50 jerry cans of PMS and fined the petrol station involved N4.2 million since its inauguration.

The committee urged members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious character to the task force or law enforcement agencies around them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje last week inaugurated the 17-member task force as part of efforts to address the lingering fuel scarcity in the state.

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