By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government’ has warned that if the rate of COVID-19 continues or exceeds the current pace, it will have no option than to impose another lockdown.
The government said that public spaces, including schools, markets, offices and places of worship may be temporarily closed if people fail to observe COVID-19 preventive protocols.
The Commissioner of Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni who gave this warning at a press conference on Saturday, said that Kaduna state is having rising cases of the virus.
‘’In absolute and relative terms, Kaduna State is now recording high infection figures reminiscent of the first wave of Covid-19 spread in April, May and June 2020.’’ She said.
The commissioner recalled that ‘’the lowering of the infection rate following the first wave encouraged the government to approve the recommendation of the State Covid-19 Task Force for a significant reopening of the state.’’
‘’However, we are saddened to report that the conditions the compelled the 75day lockdown of the state are now being replicated,’’ she lamented.
According to Dr Baloni, 74 positive results were recorded in the state from 531 samples on November 26, adding that ‘’the quantum of infections since then suggest both high infection rates and the reality of that a new wave of infections is spreading across the state.’’
‘’ As at yesterday(Friday), 11th December, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples. This translates to almost one in four samples testing positive,’’ she pointed out.
The commissioner argued that government had ‘’ expected some increase in infections after the reopening of schools, markets, places of worship and recreational centres.’’
‘’ But the figures easily outstrip our estimates. While infections cut across age groups, this new wave especially affects those aged between 10 and 35. (55%),’’ she maintained.
Dr Baloni noted that there is now a danger to lives and livelihoods with the renewed Covid-19 infections, adding that ‘’if the spread continues at the current rate, it may challenge and overwhelm the health system despite our efforts to improve the resilience of that sector.’’
The commissioner appealed the people of Kaduna state to observe Covid-19 preventive protocols in order to protect themselves and their families from infection.
According to her, this is the less costly way out as it ‘’ 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,’’ she argued.
The commissioner urged all citizens to adopt the spirit of the FORWARD campaign, which ‘’is basically encouraging everyone to follow the stipulated guidelines by authorities in the healthcare sector.
“The FORWARD campaign entails wearing Facemasks always, observing physical distancing and maintaining a proper respiratory hygiene, she said.
“The rest components are, washing hands with soap under running water and or using hand sanitizers, avoiding large gatherings as well as remaining indoors when there is no need to be outdoors. Including eating balanced meals to boost immunity,” she added.