By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo
Days after Kano State Government repatriated Almajiris to Kaduna and other northern states, another 16 of the returnees have tested positive to coronavirus pandemic.
The 16 additional returnees were discovered in Kaduna state when tests were conducted on 40 Almajiris to ascertain their coronavirus status and to determine if they would be allowed to reunite with the society or moved to any of the isolation centres in the state.
These latest cases have raised the number of active Covid-19 cases in Kaduna State from nine to 25 with 21 of the confirmed cases among the Almajiris that were repatriated to Kaduna state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, who confirmed the development in a statement on Thursday, disclosed that one of the 17 cases announced by National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) was a repeat test from an existing patient and that the attention of the agency has been drawn to it for remedial.
She said: “The high number of positive results from persons with travel history from outside the state confirm 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”.
The commissioner further revealed that health official have been deployed to monitor suspected Covid-19 cases who were believed to have sneaked into the state despite the ban on interstate travel.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to draw attention to the appeal the State Standing Committee on Covid-19 has made to the 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”, Mohammed-Baloni added.
On health workers safety during the pandemic, the commissioner hinted that the State Government has approved payment of Occupational Safety Incentive to frontline health workers as well as the provision of enhanced life and disability insurance packages, to boost their morale during the pandemic.
“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.
“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 added.
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