By John Shiklam
The Kaduna State Government has said that another amendment to the Quarantine Regulations, requiring everyone in the state to wear a mask when going out of the home or at workplace has been issued.
The state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, while speaking Wednesday in Kaduna, said the state government will make the masks available free to the poor and vulnerable groups and urged everyone that can afford it to get their neighbourhood tailor to sew cloth masks for their use.
Governor el-Rufai, who said he felt relieved for recovering from Covid-19, added that with sound health and prayers from the people, he will continue to spearhead efforts at curtailing the spread of the disease.
The governor, who had tested positive of the disease, stated this in a live broadcast after he was given a clean bill and discharged from isolation.
The mask, according to him, will help protect people, their loved ones and everyone else from the spread of the disease.
He appealed to the people to stay at home, observe social distancing, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and wash their hands with soap and water regularly.
El-Rufai had, on 28 March 2020, announced that he tested positive to the disease and had proceeded into isolation.
“I am relieved by my recovery. With the privilege of life, sound health and the support and prayers of our citizens, I will continue to lead the Kaduna State Government’s efforts to ensure that as few of our people as possible get infected by Covid-19, and that those who do, can receive adequate and timely care and treatment.
“I am delighted to report today, that after nearly four weeks of observing a strict medical regime, I have now received the all-clear after two consecutive negative test results,” he said.
The governor expressed gratitude to God as he also acknowledged with gratitude, the massive outpouring of sympathy, prayers and public support that followed his disclosure of the infection.
He said: “My family not only went through the trauma of potentially losing a member, but also the risk of being infected as well.”
He commended the diligent medical personnel, the state Ministry of Health and the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital who managed his case for their dedicated and professional care.
“It was cheering to see the determined efforts of our Covid-19 Task Force chaired by the Deputy Governor, the officials of our Ministry of Health ably led by the commissioner and our security/enforcement agencies to manage and contain the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
“I wish to acknowledge our Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, for her reassuring leadership of our team in my absence.
“In this trying period, our senior officials have demonstrated admirable commitment and the flexibility to provide governance in circumstances that are so different from the normal,” he said.
According to him, “The commitment, competence and capabilities displayed by the Kaduna State Government in my four-week absence is clear evidence that we have a public service we can all be proud of.”
He said to stop the disease from spreading, emphasis must be on prevention.
“Our emphasis is rightly on prevention because it is the prudent thing to do to save lives, given the limited capacity of our health system,” he said.
El-Rufai further expressed gratitude for the recovery of four other Covid-19 cases who were discharged last week which was followed Wednesday with the discharge of a fifth patient.
He however regretted that it was sad to receive news of three more positive cases in Kaduna State, saying the infected persons will receive the best care that health professionals can muster, adding that he wished them speedy recovery.
“We must all work hard to ensure that we keep Covid-19 out of Kaduna State. We have lower infection rates than expected due to stringent measures we imposed on our state, but we cannot let our guards down.
“We are in dangerous times. This disease is a threat to our humanity, our lives and livelihoods.
“As someone that has experienced it, I will not wish it on my worst enemy.
“We must reiterate that an infected person can show no symptoms as I did, for up to two weeks, while unknowingly infecting others close to him or even through casual contact.
“That is why mixing with many people is not a good idea. While four of every five infected persons show mild symptoms like headache, fever and cough and recover fully, there is evidence worldwide that older people and those with pre-existing health challenges like hypertension and diabetes are particularly at greater risk of dying if they get the Covid-19 infection,” the governor said.
He said everything must be done to avoid exposure and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in towns and villages.
“We must now make the sacrifices of enhanced domestic hygiene, regular hand washing with soap, staying at home and avoiding crowds to defeat this disease,” he stated.