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Kaduna Govt threatens to impose another lockdown after COVID-19 spike

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In bid to protect lives, the Kaduna State Government has said that it may impose another round of lockdown to curb the fresh surge in coronavirus infections across the state.

It said that the measure would be adopted again, as done earlier this year if the rate of spread retains or exceeds its current pace in the state.

The threat came hours after the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, went under self-isolation after a member of his immediate family and aide were confirmed to have contracted the virus following tests that were conducted on them by health experts.

Announcing the government plans at a press briefing on Saturday, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, said that indications from ongoing tests conducted on residents further showed that the speed at which COVID-19 spread in the state was gradually returning to what happened earlier in the year that resulted to the lockdown.

Mohammed-Baloni noted that the conditions that compelled the 75-day lockdown of the state were now being replicated, saying, Kaduna State is now recording high infection figures reminiscent of the first wave of Covid-19 spread in April, May and June 2020.

“On 26th November 2020, the state recorded 74 positive results from 531 samples. The quantum of infections since then suggests both high infection rates and the reality that a new wave of infections is spreading across the state. As of yesterday, 11th December, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples. (This translates to almost one in four samples testing positive)”.

The commissioner stressed that the second infections wave-cut across age groups but was dominant among those between 10years and 35years.

She cautioned that if the spread continues at the current rate, it may challenge and overwhelm the health system despite efforts to improve the resilience of the sector.

To prevent it from happening, Mohammed-Baloni stated that some containment measures would be adopted including availing the State Covid-19 Taskforce all relevant data to monitor and access the rate of voluntary compliance.

“If the rate of spread retains or exceeds the current pace, then we will have no option to recommend the temporary closure of public spaces, including schools, markets, offices, and places of worship.

“But there is a less costly way out. And that involves citizens living their lives and conducting themselves in ways that do not spread the disease. That way, lives, and livelihoods are protected while public health officers try to contain and manage the disease without causing painful disruptions”, the commissioner added.

She, however, said: “I urge all citizens, businesses, and organisations to appreciate the danger that we face and let us all work together to avoid emergency conditions. We have done it before. Let us do it again!”.

 

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