Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi says the state government spends over N15 million weekly on allowances to health and other front line workers in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Mohammed made the disclosure on Monday in Bauchi while inaugurating the state’s Molecular Reference Laboratory for COVID-19.
The governor said the amount was being spent on allowances for contact tracing, risk management and case management among others.
He said his administration was giving adequate attention to the well-being of all COVID-19 patients, including their stable diet of three square meals daily.
He said: “My government pays more than N15 million every week in allowance for contact tracing and surveillance, case management, risk communication, logistic and supply, as well as infection prevention and coordination teams.
“In addition, we also ensure that all COVID-19 patients in the state are on stable diet with three meals daily.
“This explains why our rate of recovery and discharge are almost the best in the country.”
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 explained that the laboratory was one of the cardinal strategies of his administration in combating the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases in the state.
Mohammed further disclosed that the laboratory was established in collaboration with the North East Development Commission and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
He explained that the laboratory had been certified by the NCDC with the capacity to conduct 300 tests daily.
Mohammed said: “With the certification of this laboratory by the NCDC, Bauhi State does not have to take samples to Abuja, Edo or Plateau State any longer.
“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.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bauchi State had so far recorded 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 439 had been discharged, 49 patients undergoing treatment with 12 deaths.