Kaduna State, Nigeria, May Impose Fresh Lockdown in a Second Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Government of Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria has warned that the it may impose another lockdown, following the recent increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, the Commissioner of Health in Kaduna, gave the warning at a press conference on Saturday in the state’s capital, saying public spaces including schools, markets, offices and places of worship may be temporarily closed, if people failed to observe COVID-19 preventive protocols.

Mohammed-Baloni said “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.”

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 Taskforce for a significant reopening of the state.

“However, we are saddened to report that the conditions that compelled the 75 days lockdown of the state are now being replicated.’’

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According to her, 74 COVID-19 positive results were recorded in the state from 531 samples on Nov. 26, adding that the quantum of infections since then, suggested both high infection rate and the reality of a new wave of infection spreading across the state.

“As at yesterday (Friday) Dec. 11, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples. This translates to almost one in four samples testing positive,’’ she said.

The commissioner pointed out that government had expected some increase in infections after the reopening of schools, markets, places of worship and recreational centres.

‘’But the figures easily outstripped our estimates. While infections cut across age groups, this new wave especially affects those aged between 10 and 35. (55 per cent),’’ she said.

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She noted that there was 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.’’

Residents are being urged to observe COVID-19 preventive protocols in order to protect themselves and their families from infection.

According to the Commissioner, 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 said.

Mohammed Baloni urged all citizens to adopt the spirit of the FORWARD campaign, which encouraged everyone to follow the stipulated guidelines by authorities in the healthcare sector.

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“The FORWARD campaign entails wearing Facemasks always, Observing physical distancing and maintaining proper Respiratory hygiene.

“The rest components are, Washing hands with soap under running water and or using hand sanitizer, Avoiding large gatherings as well as Remaining indoors when there is no need to be outdoors, and eating balanced Diet to boost immunity,” she added.

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