Bauchi state Governor Bala Mohammed has ordered the use of chloroquine drugs to treat coronavirus patients in the state.
Speaking late Wednesday night while updating journalists on the pandemic in the state, the governor said the drug was administered on him when infected with the disease, and this he said, cured him.
“Our medical team is using their own ingenuity to use chloroquine and Zithromax to treat the patients, even though in some places, they said it is against the protocol,” he said.
Addressing the medical workers, he said: “As the governor, I’m taking responsibility for that because I don’t want anyone to die. I have given you the directive that you must use something that I have used to get well, just as you have used for all other cases that got well.
“Rather than saying that something is harmful, we should not follow what the white people are saying by not taking anything and die.
“We are used to taking chloroquine in Nigeria; we are going to use them. We have taken responsibility and I have taken responsibility.
“Zithromax and chloroquine are not harmful to our body, our physiological system has adapted to it. If you are having a fever you take chloroquine.”
The governor further said no death had so far been recorded in Bauchi because the affected people were using the drug.
“Nobody is affected with any serious distress in Bauchi, even though now we are going to be tested with the 23 cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state Ministry of Health Thursday confirmed 16 new COVID-19 cases in the state, saying they were almajirai recently returned to the state by the Kano state government.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed Baloni, said the 16 positive cases were part of 40 samples taken for COVID-19 test by the Kaduna state government, but one of the 17 cases announced by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control was a repeat test of an infected person.
She said: “These new cases are almajiri who came from Kano. Their test results returned positive from a sample of 40 persons whose test results were released today. These latest cases have raised the number of active COVID-19 cases in Kaduna state from nine to 25.
“The high number of positive results from persons with travel history from outside the state confirms the Kaduna state government’s fears about the danger of infection from neighbouring states and the role of interstate travel in facilitating the spread of Covid-19 across state lines.
“One of the 17 cases announced by NCDC was a repeat test from an existing patient, their attention has been drawn to it and it will be remedied. As part of the implementation of the preventive measures, our health officials are monitoring suspected COVID-19 cases who are believed to have sneaked into the state despite the ban on interstate travel.”
The commissioner reiterated the appeal of the State Standing Committee on COVID-19 to security agencies to accelerate the blocking of entry points into the state. “Effective enforcement of the prohibition of entry into Kaduna state as outlined in the Quarantine Orders is clearly a key success factor in efforts to avert the nightmare scenario of community transmission.
“We wish to draw the attention of the public to the provisions of the Quarantine Orders and the penalties for any willful contravention. We appeal to the public to be vigilant and to kindly report returnees from states with high infection rates by contacting officials of the Ministry of Health.
“We also encourage such persons to contact the ministry officials so that they can be monitored. Failure to do so may make such persons liable to the processes prescribed for violators in the Quarantine Orders. We wish the new cases speedy recovery as they receive the usual high standards of care from our medical professionals.
“The Ministry of Health welcomes the approval granted by the Kaduna state government for the payment of Occupational Safety Incentive to our front line health workers as well as the provision of enhanced life and disability insurance packages.
“The general public is reminded of the importance of hand washing, personal hygiene, social distancing and the avoidance of large gatherings in helping protect us all from COVID-19. It is important to stay home, stay safe and save lives,” she said.