The Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed, has revealed that the state spends around N15 million each week on allowances of health workers and others involved in the fight against COVID-19.
The governor made this disclosure at the inauguration of the state’s molecular reference laboratory for COVID-19. He said the sum is being spent on allowances for contact tracing, risk management, case management among others.
The former FCT minister revealed that his administration is giving adequate attention to the well-being of all COVID-19 patients, including a stable diet and necessary support to aid their recovery.
The governor said the construction of the laboratory was borne out of his administration’s concern to alleviate the sufferings of patients, family and health workers while awaiting laboratory test results of COVID-19, yellow and Lassa fever and other diseases.
He said the laboratory is one of the cardinal strategies of his administration in combating the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases in the state.
The governor disclosed that the laboratory was established in collaboration with the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, adding that it has been certified by the NCDC with the capacity to conduct 300 tests daily.
“With the certification of this laboratory by the NCDC, Bauchi state does not have to take samples to Abuja, Edo, or Plateau state any longer,” he said.
“It will also reduce the waiting time for results and improve our efficiency in managing the COVID-19.
“It is pertinent to note that the NCDC has declared this laboratory as one in the country with the capacity to perform up to 300 tests per day.”
The governor urged all the staff of the laboratory to ensure strict infection prevention procedures and maintain the highest standard in the operation of the laboratory.
Bauchi has so far recorded 500 cases of COVID-19, out of which 439 patients have been discharged while 12 people have lost their lives.
Nigerian has been grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic since February when the index case was identified in Lagos. More than 25, 000 cases have been recorded across the country with 573 deaths according to figures picked from the website of the Nigerian Center for Diseases Control (NCDC).