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Press Statement on the Current Situation of the Lockdown In Kano State By the Centre for Information Technology and Development (XII)

1st May, 2020

Today Friday, the 1st of May, 2020 Kano state residents have entered third week of the total lockdown in the state with only 16 hours partial lifting of the order on the 23rd of April. In this period the confirmed cases in the state continued to surge as more cases are being recorded on daily basis since the resumption of the only testing centre at Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital after a long week of suspending the testing by the centre. Yesterday, the 30th of April, 2020 Kano state recorded the highest number of confirmed cases in the country (80) making it the second state with highest number of confirmed cases in the country after Lagos. This took the tally of the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 219 with 5 fatalities. This was a state that three weeks ago had no any confirmed case of covid-19. As of 17th of April when Kano state government decided to impose the total lockdown, the state had only 27 confirmed cases as against Abuja with 69. Kano state today has 219 confirmed cases while Abuja has 178. The increase of the number of confirmed cases in the state cannot be unrelated with the attitude of the state residents and the negligence by the state government to be more proactive in the fight. In addition, many ugly incidences had happened in the previous weeks which could be avoided, including the contamination of the testing lab, which led to its closure for days, the infection of the medical personnel, including members of the State Task Force Committee on Covid-19 in the state.

OBSERVATIONS:

From our observations in the state we found out that many mosques are still observing congregational prayers in defiance of the state government directives and without adhering to the social distancing as advised by the health professionals. Also, our observers reported that Friday congregational prayer was held at Kuyan Ta Inna Juma’at Mosque in Kumbotso local Government in the presence of security personnel.

Similarly, markets activities were still ongoing in many places without observing any precaution measures. Reports from Yan Lemo Market indicated that there are normal activities in the market, at Sagemu Unguwar Kwari in Kumbotso Local Government traders are also going with their normal activities in the presence of security personnel and without taking any preventive measures. In zoo road, people are facially going about with their businesses with many shops open.

Also large crowds were seen at many burial in the city as well as at condolences places where social distancing were not observed. In addition, there were no precaution about the handling of the corpses in these burials.

However, movements of people are being sighted by our observers in the city. In every major road in the city people are going with their normal movements with some check points here and there. Many reports indicate that still Keke Napep Riders are allowed to operate with connivance of the security personnel who collect money at every check point. Inter-state movement is still not being stopped as people still travel in and out of the state. In summary, the stay at home order has collapsed due to the government inability and citizens I don’t care attitude.

OUR CONCERNS:

CITAD concludes from its observations and assessment that the state government is too slow in its response in curtailing the situation. The state government should be more focused on what it can do than waiting for support from Federal government, wealthy individuals and development partners. In the process, the state is furthering of unnecessary deaths. Security personnel attached to the check points in the state have found lucrative business in the check points. Instead of them to prevent people from violating the lockdown order, they have made their check points a pay and pass gates. While the citizens whose their lives are in great danger, they seen not care about complying with the directives given by the state government and adhering to the advice given by health professionals which is putting their lives every day at great danger.

OUR CALL:

Bases on the situation in the state:

  1. Kano state government to make priority the lives of the state residents
  2. The state government should form a high-level committee that will include traditional and religious leaders to ensure compliance with the stay at home order
  3. Security personnel should desist from collecting bribe at check points and that anyone caught doing so should be disciplined
  4. The residents to respect the government order of staying at home and adhere to the advice given by health professionals
  5. Philanthropists and wealthy individuals to help the most vulnerable people in their areas
  6. Government and other stakeholders should quickly come up with protocols for burials to avoid further mass infections
  7. In order to ensure that other people with non-covid19 related illness are given medical attention, there is the need for government to provide personnel protective equipment (PPEs) and training to all healthcare personnel in the state.
  8. Given the rate at which the cases are increasing, and the current combined capacity of the isolation spaces in the state which currently is at less 400 bed space, there is urgent need for the State government to quickly convert some structures into isolation centres to accommodate the number of confirmed cases In the state.

Ali Sabo

Campaigns and Communication Officer

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