The Kaduna State Government has hinted that should the state experience a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, it may be forced to completely lock down in order to curtail the spread.
It, however, expressed confidence in its capacity at the moment to test and treat cases, especially with the activation of a mobile van known as ‘Wellness on Wheel (WOW)’, which uses the revolutionary GeneXpert machine to test for both tuberculosis and COVID-19.
Speaking during the inauguration of the initiative, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, explained that it became necessary in order to further contain the spread of the disease, even as states across the country are easing restrictions.
He said: “We have decided that now that we are confident of our testing capability, we have enough test kits and our health system is becoming prepared to deal with the problem, we can open up, and we have opened up and monitoring the situation.
“We are still reviewing the result of the last weekend compliance level of places of worship, and based on the result of compliance as well as rate of infection, we may lock down again.
“I am saying this for everyone in Kaduna State to hear: if we get to a level that the infection rate will overwhelm our health system and our health workers, we may lock down again; we will go back to complete lock down.
“I am appealing to the people of Kaduna State to comply with the protocols and minimise going out.
“Our health system is stronger and we have much testing capacity. We are much confident in dealing with the problem and we have a good success rate in the treatment of people that are infected. But let us not take things for granted.
“This disease is a killer. I know it, I have experienced it, and I don’t want anyone in Kaduna State to experience it. If it becomes necessary to close down the borders and completely lock down, we will not hesitate to do so because, as I said, from the beginning, we will do whatever it takes to protect lives. We can apologise later for the inconvenience, but life comes first.”