STATE GOVERNMENTS REFUSE TO REVEAL AMOUNT SPENT ON CORONAVIRUS TESTS

Kano, Ogun, Edo, Oyo fail to disclose amount spent on COVID-19 tests

Kwara, Ogun, Kano, Edo and Oyo states on Sunday failed to disclose the amount they had spent on COVID-19 tests.

A few weeks ago, it was disclosed that Lagos State had spent N800m on COVID-19 tests.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi,   said the average cost of a test was between N40,000 andN50,000. As of that time, the state had conducted 16,000 COVID-19 tests.

But efforts to get the amount spent by other states such as Kano, Ogun, Edo, Kano and Oyo states did not succeed.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said the state government was not collecting money from people that were being tested for COVID-19.

He said, “The government does not charge patients treated for COVID-19 in the state.”

On the amount spent so far by the state government on COVID-19, the spokesperson said that it could not be revealed because the tests were still being conducted.

The Oyo State Government also said it had so far taken a full financial responsibility of the cost of testing and treatment for all reported 365 COVID-19 cases in the state.

It, however, said the financial records of the cost of testing and treatment of the patients were not readily available as a result of the ongoing partial lockdown in the state which affected the civil servants.

Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, disclosed this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday.

On its part, the Kano State Government said it had yet to ascertain the exact amount it was spending on each test conducted on COVID-19 patient in the state.

The Coordinator, Kano State Task Force Committee on COVID-19, Dr Tijjani Husain, stated this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH in Kano on Sunday.

But the Ogun State Government said neither the patients nor the state paid for the tests conducted for COVID-19 in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, said this while responding to enquiries from one of our correspondents.

She  said, “Ogun State does not pay for the test because it is sponsored  by a donor.”

On how much has been  spent on COVID-19, Coker said, “I  do not know how much has been spent as there are many facets of COVID-19 response including humanitarian, security and health.”

The Edo State Government on Sunday said though the cost of the test for the novel coronavirus was expensive, but the government paid for it.

The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, told The PUNCH on the phone that he could not say exactly the amount each test cost and the amount the state government had expended so far on fighting the pandemic.

Akwa Ibom spends N11.5m on COVID-19 tests

But the Akwa Ibom State Government said it spent N50,000 on each COVID-19 test. As of June 2, according to the NCDC, the state had tested 231 people.

The state Commissioner of Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong on Sunday disclosed that the state spent  N50,000 and above on each test conducted for COVID-19 patient outside the state.

He stated, “We have calculated because we have just set up a laboratory and right now the NCDC is screening our laboratory for approval and I believe by tomorrow or Tuesday we will have the lab approved for testing.

“If you sit down and calculate the expenses on one test it’s in the region of N50,000 and above. The last calculation we made was in that region. Compare this to private hospitals. There are some private hospitals in Lagos, in addition to the  federal laboratories in Yaba.”

The Punch

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