Kaduna state government charges residents on COVID-19 protocol as cases rise

THE Kaduna state government has charged residents of the state on the need to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols amidst the increase of new cases in the state.

Amina Mohammed Beloni, the state commissioner for health, who gave the charge during a press briefing on Saturday, said that the 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 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 that compelled the 75day lockdown of the state are now being replicated. On 26th November 2020, the state recorded 74 positive results from 531 samples.

“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, 11th December, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples. (This translates to almost one in four samples testing positive).

“There is now a veritable danger to lives and livelihoods with the renewed Covid-19 infections. 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.”

She noted that the state was able to contain the first wave of the infection because citizens observed and practised the COVID-19 prevention protocols.






     

     

    While lamenting that people no longer adhere to the provisions put in place to safeguard them from the infection, the commissioner added that if there is a further increase in the numbers of cases, the state will have no option than to close all public places in the state.

    “We had previously observed the wholesale abandonment of any compliance with protective measures. We cautioned against this and reminded citizens that the relaxation of lockdown measures did not mean that Covid-19 had been defeated or disappeared. The rising infections is a reminder that Covid-19 remains a potent danger to lives and livelihoods. Anyone who remembers the pains and sacrifices of the lockdown period will not want that to be repeated.

    “As part of the consultations that preceded the easing of the Quarantine Order, religious groups, professional and business associations, transporters, traders and other stakeholders assured the government that they and their members would comply with Covid-19 protocols. It is now time for all the stakeholders to discharge their responsibilities, comply with commitments they made and ensure that all their members conduct themselves in ways that advance Covid-19 prevention efforts. 

    “The Ministry of Health as the lead agency for implementing Covid-19 containment measures will be availing the State Covid-19 Taskforce of all the 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.”

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