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COVID-19: We may lockdown Kaduna again, says El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State (middle) formally receives a mobile testing vehicle sent by USAID to support the state’s COVID-19 testing efforts, in Kaduna yesterday
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State (middle) formally receives a mobile testing vehicle sent by USAID to support the state’s COVID-19 testing efforts, in Kaduna yesterday

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai on Wednesday warned that he may impose another lockdown order in the state if residents continue to ignore the COVID-19 protocol put in place.

He clarified that “If we get to a level that the infection rate will overwhelm our health system and health workers, we will lockdown again.”

The governor who was speaking after commissioning a testing vehicle donated to the state by the USAID said the state government had only lifted the lockdown because it was confident of its testing capabilities especially since it had enough testing kits as well as a prepared health system.

“I’m appealing to the people of Kaduna State to comply with the protocol put in place and minimise going out because if it becomes necessary to close down the state again, we will not hesitate to do it because we will do whatever it takes to protect lives and apologise later,” he said.

While speaking on the mobile testing vehicle, El-Rufai said it is equipped with GeneXpert machines, adding that the mobile lab can be used to test various infectious diseases and was originally brought to the country as a donation by the US government through USAID for testing of tuberculosis.

“But with the outbreak of COVID-19, approval has been given to us to test for coronavirus. It has been in the state for some time now and it has tested over 200 samples many of which were positive.”

“The vehicle is used largely for community testing and the results have been a little scary as there is 16 percent infection in the communities that have been tested. These are high risk communities in the borders with neighbouring states that have large outbreaks of the disease,” he further said.

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