By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Task Force Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic in Bauchi State State has tendered a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to financially assist the state in the management of the disease.
The plea was made by the State Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela who said, “We have not received a single kobo from the Federal Government. As a matter of fact, we are right now trying to engage the government to see in what way it would be able to assist us”.
“Of course they have given N10 billion to the Lagos State Government and N5 billion to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), may be the federal government is giving the assistance on state basis or infection rate basis, but we are engaging them as to the way we can get assistance from them”.
The Deputy Governor, who is the committee chairman weekend while updating the press on the pandemic added, “Not only the federal government, even the North East Development Commission, we are in contact with them and they said they will do some intervention”.
According to him, the commission said however that it will do some interventions not necessary to one or two states, but to the whole states under the zone, hence the need for the commission to speed up its resolve.
Senator Baba Tela while announcing that Bauchi has received donation on COVID-19 from the United Bank for Africa (UBA), but declined to disclose the actual amount, saying it is not to dispirit other expected donors.
He therefore called on commercial banks and other organizations as part of their corporate social responsibility to positively respond by assisting the state government in this regard.
On markets closure, the committee chairman explained that it is partial leaving the food vendors, medicine vendors, filling stations, among others, so as to mitigate the spread of the disease.
Tela said, “Our fear is not the importation of the virus infection, but the person to person contact of the virus in Bauchi state”, expressing concern that some people are not adhering to the government’s directive in the efforts to entirely ward-off the disease.
Turning to Bauchi preparedness to contain the virus, the deputy governor disclosed that government has prepared the 150-bed Bayara General Hospital to accommodate all moderate treatments that the state might have, and which can easily be recovered or go to the mile stage.
The committee chairman further revealed that for the mile treatment, the state has 85 – 90 beds at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) Bauchi, as well as place for severe cases which, he lamented, ‘where you put people on oxygen and ventilators and which we don’t have to reach’.
Senator Baba Tela further explained that for the severe treatment, Bauchi has prepared accommodation for such persons at the ATBUTH, while the Azare Federal Medical Centre (FMC) government has prepared a ward for moderate and mile stages treatment where 100 – 120 patients could be accommodated, as well as IPU (severe) that could cater for 4 persons at a time.