The state government of Kaduna has cautioned that if the number of confirmed COVID19 cases continues to increase in the state, it could enforce another lockdown.
Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, State Commissioner for Health, gave the notice at a press conference on Saturday, 12 December. The alert came hours after state governor Nasir El-Rufai declared he was going into isolation after being confirmed positive for the virus by a close family member and a top government official.
Kaduna State is now recording high infection figures in absolute and relative terms reminiscent of the first wave of Covid-19 outbreak in April, May, and June 2020.
The decrease in the infection rate following the first wave prompted the government to approve the State Covid-19 Task Force’s proposal for a major reopening of the state.
We are saddened, however, to report that the circumstances that forced the state’s 75-day lockdown are now being repeated.
The state registered 117 positive cases from 518 samples as of Friday, 11 December. This corresponds to about one testing positive in four tests, she pointed out.
The commissioner argued that after the reopening of schools, markets, places of worship, and leisure centers, the government had expected a certain rise in infections.
In order to protect themselves and their families from infection, she appealed to the citizens of Kaduna state to follow Covid-19 preventive protocols.
The Ministry of Health, as the lead agency for the implementation of Covid-19 containment measures, will use all the related data from the State Covid-19 Taskforce to track and access the voluntary compliance rate.
If the rate of spread holds or exceeds the current rate, then we will not be able to suggest that public spaces, including schools, markets, offices, and places of worship, be temporarily closed down. But a less expensive way out is there. And that requires people to live their lives and behaving in ways that do not spread the disease. Lives and livelihoods are covered in this way, as public health authorities strive to avoid and monitor the disease without causing painful disturbances.