Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that he may have no option but to consider locking down the state again if the people refuse to wear face masks and observe social distance.
El’rufai said the state was experiencing a rising rate of COVID-19 infections, warning that government is considering several options to manage the situation.
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A statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, said El-Rufai conveyed his concerns at the 2021 budget signing ceremony which held at Government House on Wednesday.
He explained that the governor expressed concerns that infection rates were now hovering between 20% and 35%.
“If people refuse to wear masks and observe social distancing, we will consider locking down the state once again.
“Nobody wants that. We know the impact of that on lives and livelihoods but we must save lives first,” he said.
He told the people of Kaduna State that “COVID-19 is real; it has not gone; it is still there and it is still a clear and present danger to the lives and livelihoods of our people.”
The governor noted that; “a lot of government business will still have to be done online and through virtual meetings, large gatherings must be prohibited.”
The governor urged citizens to practice the prevention protocols such as wearing face masks and avoiding crowded places and large gatherings to enable the state contain the situation without imposing another lockdown.
The statement quoted the governor as saying that; “by August and September, we were down to 1%, 2%, 3% infection rates from samples we tested.
“Now, we are hovering between 20% and 35%.
“The rate of infections is surging and we have now decided that every employee of Kaduna State Government must be tested and no person will be allowed to enter any government office, any hospital, any school, any public facility without mask and maintaining social distancing,’’ he warned.
The number of new COVID-19 cases has been increasing in the past few days.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced new 474 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday night.
474 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;
1,184 deaths pic.twitter.com/0PJYG8VipU
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) December 9, 2020
Th steady rise in the number of cases is increasing the fear of another lockdown in the country.