A four-month-old baby who had been battling the COVID-19 in Kaduna State has recovered.
The state Ministry of Health confirmed this on Saturday, noting that the baby has been discharged from the isolation center after testing negative for the virus.
Giving an update on the situation in the state the Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni, said there were still 76 active cases, as of Friday, May 29.
She also said that 149 out of the total number of 232 COVID-19 cases reported in the state have been discharged, while seven deaths have been recorded.
According to the commissioner, the state has tested almost 2,000 samples so far. She, however, warned that number of cases are likely to rise further as more tests are conducted.
“COVID-19 cases have been recorded in 33 wards in nine local government areas of the state: Chikun, Giwa, Igabi, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Makarfi, Sabon-Gari, Soba and Zaria. The data shows that 80% of the infected persons are male,” she said.
Meanwhile, Baloni also revealed that the state has taken delivery of a mobile testing truck a few days ago, and it awaits the delivery of equipment that will enable the mobile truck and 12 GeneXpert machines spread across several general hospitals to increase the testing capacity in the state.
She warned residents to avoid interstate travel, even as health officials engage in vigorous contact tracing to contain the spread of the infections.
“The Ministry has further stepped up active case searching and testing in communities to stem secondary infections,” she said.
The Kaduna state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has slammed a six month suspension on a former Senator who represented Kaduna North, Suleiman Hunkuyi and a former Deputy Speaker in the state House of Assembly.
Hunkuyi who was also a governorship aspirant of the party in the 2019 governorship election in the state was suspended alongside six others for alleged anti-party activities.
Other party members suspended include, Hashim Garba from Kubau Local Government, Dr Mato Dogara from Lere Local Government, Ibrahim Lazuru from Lere Local Government, Dr John Danfulani from Kachia Local Government, Lawal Imam Adamu from Soba Local Government .
Meanwhile, the party also expelled two of its members.
The Publicity Secretary of the party, Abrahaman Catoh who stated this on Tuesday, listed those expelled from the party to include, Dr. John Danfulani and Ubale Salmanduna be expelled from the party without further delay.
According to the publicity secretary, the expulsion and suspension of the party chieftains, followed recommendations by a 7-man Disciplinary Committee set up by the State Care Taker Committee.
The Deputy Governor who is also the Chairperson of the COVID-19 Task Force in the state, noted that the state will continue to monitor and ensure residents’ complaince to the safety guideline such as wearing of face masks, washing of hands and avoiding large gatherings.
She said a violation of these guidelines will now force the government to impose stricter measures.
Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i says the 218 Almajirai who were repatriated to Kaduna from Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau and Gombe States would be enrolled in free and compulsory primary education.
The governor said every child in the state including the Almajiri has equal opportunity and access to 12 years of free and compulsory education in the state’s public school.
El-Rufai who disclosed this on Monday on his Facebook page added that the COVID-19 test was carried out on all the Almajirai and they all tested negative.
He explained that children would not be denied Islamic education, noting that, plans have been put in place to ensure the children go to Islamic school in the evening and at the weekend.
“I am pleased to see our Almajiri children the batch of 218 from Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau & Gombe States looking well & free of Covid 19. With the support of @UNICEF_Nigeria, AMA Foundation, other NGOs & philanthropists, they are being restored full human rights as children, dignity & hope! “Every child in Kaduna has equal opportunity and access to 12 years of Free and Compulsory Education in our public schools.
“The next step is for the Commissioner of Human Services & Social Development, Mrs Hafsat Baba and her team to return them to their parents in collaboration with Local Government Chairmen and Traditional Rulers. All the children are to be compulsorily enrolled in the primary school nearest to them so they have modern education and life skills in the morning, and continue their Quranic or Islamic education in the afternoon and over the weekend.
“That is how many of us got our education. That is what the Nothern States’ Governors’ Forum decided. These children may the future of Northern Nigeria. – Nasir @el-Rufai.”
The Almajirai are currently kept in interim care at Government College, Kaduna.
The governor, therefore, assured the children that the state’s decision to reunite them with their families is in their best interest.
Kaduna State Government has vowed to keep its health facilities running and to protect staff that are willing to provide services to the public.
The government which made this known on Thursday, in its official response to the notice of strike issued by health workers, also said that it will not bend to blackmail.
A statement signed by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, warned that “The Government rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment.’’
‘’Every health worker that is willing to work is required to sign the register at the Ministry of Health and the health institutions to which they are deployed,’’ he emphasised.
Adekeye further warned that “those who are not willing to work are strongly warned against criminal action such as attempts to impede access to workplaces, harass willing workers or to sabotage facilities and equipment.”
The Special Adviser pointed out that to “declare strike action amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is naked blackmail, based on the mistaken assumption that the state government will reward irresponsible conduct by some health workers with surrender.”
According to him, the government will not be misled into granting health workers a special status amongst public servants.
Adekeye argued that “the consequences of concessions made along such lines by previous governments have created a sense that some public servants are more precious than others.”
The Special Adviser reminded that the salary deductions which were “introduced in April 2020 apply to everyone who works for Kaduna State Government, from the Governor to the most junior civil servant with a take-home pay of more than N50,000 monthly.”
“Government will not be browbeaten by strike action into excluding health workers from the sacrifices being made by other public servants who are donating 25% of their salary to fund the provision of palliatives for low-income, poor and vulnerable persons that are impacted by the lockdown,” he added.
The statement said that it frowns at discriminating against any professional group in the public service, adding that the donation to the Covid-19 fund is a show of solidarity which ‘’applies to everyone employed by the government, and therefore does not exclude health workers.’’
The Special Adviser pointed out that health workers are already being paid additional amounts as part of an Occupational Safety Initiative.
The statement said that “high risk staff are receiving a compensation of N15,000 per day. This refers to all cadres of personnel who are in close contact with Covid-19 patients.”
Adekeye further said that “medium risk staff are receiving N10,000 per day. These are officers involved in taking samples, transferring patients to treatment centres, tracing contacts etc.”
The Special Adviser further said that “low risk staff are receiving N5,000 per day”.
According to him, “government is also paying a monthly incentive of 10% of net pay to each and every health worker in its hospitals and primary health centres.
“In addition, the Kaduna State Government has paid premiums for an enhanced insurance package for health workers that raises the death and disability benefits to N5m and N2.5m respectively. The insurance package also includes payment of N100,000 per day for 10 days to health workers who get infected with Covid-19,” he added.
The state government regards the health workers demand “to treat the over 11,000 persons working in the health sector as frontline staff and pay them as such is not a serious request.”
The statement said that “there is a global shortage of PPEs, but amidst these supply-side difficulties the state government consistently tries to keep its secondary health facilities supplied.”
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili has called for an end to the killings in Kaduna State.
In a series of posts on Twitter on Saturday, the former minister urged the Federal Government and security agencies to take decisive steps to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.
“I challenge @nigeriagov, @ngrpresident, @mbuhari and the IG @policeng to please, please surprise us and prove me wrong by actually breaking the pattern in Kaduna State and everywhere else in our country, where citizens are killed in their communities and no consequences follow,” she tweeted.
I CHALLENGE @NigeriaGov@NGRPresident@MBuhari and the IG @PoliceNG to PLEASE , PLEASE SURPRISE us and PROVE ME WRONG by actually breaking the PATTERN in Kaduna State and everywhere else in our country, where citizens are KILLED in their Communities and NO CONSEQUENCES follow.
According to her, “countries that have no respect for the sanctity of human life inherently lack the basic ingredients for social contract between government and citizens. Countries that are void of social contract, end up eroding their social capital among their citizens. Is this not Nigeria now?” the former minister asked.
She, therefore, urged Nigerians to take a stand and demand accountability from all levels of governments.
Meanwhile, she prayed that God comforts all those who have lost their loved ones in the recent killings in Kajuru local government of the state.
On Friday, the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, held an emergency meeting with heads of security agencies over the attacks.
The meeting also had in attendance the state deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe, leadership of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services (DSS) in Kaduna, as well as political leaders and traditional rulers.
Member of the House of Representatives representing Kajuru/ Chikun Federal Constituency, Danjuma Barde, as well as District Head of Kufana, Titus Dauda, who were in attendance called on all warring parties involved in the conflict to sheath their swords and assured them that the government was working to bring the attacks to an end.
Twenty new cases of the COVID-19 have been recorded in Kaduna State.
The State Ministry of Health disclosed this on Friday, noting that 15 out of the 20 cases comprise of family members and close contacts of previously confirmed cases.
According to the Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni, a four-month-old baby girl and six health workers were also among the new patients.
The infant is said to have been confirmed positive after she was taken to a hospital over some respiratory issues, and tested in accordance with the updated guidelines which advise that those who show such symptoms be tested.
Her parents have also been tested and they await their results.
Dr Baloni further explained that the 20 new cases are spread across seven local government areas with Chikun LGA having seven cases (including five members of the same family), four in Giwa and three in Kaduna North.
In addition, Sabon-Gari and Kaduna South have two cases each, while Igabi and Zaria have one case each.
The latest cases show that COVID-19 has spread into nine LGAs in the state: Chikun, Igabi, Giwa, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Makarfi, Sabon-Gari, Soba and Zaria.
The Commissioner, therefore, warned that the widening spread of the COVID-19 means that the risk of infection has increased for persons who do not stay at home or who fail to observe necessary precautions when they go out.
Consequently, she advised residents to shun non-essential travel or interactions to avoid taking the virus home and infecting loved ones.
For parents especially, she said: “They must also exercise personal responsibility regarding not allowing visitors into their homes. One of the COVID-19 fatalities in the state got infected when he received visitors at home. Elderly persons and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and respiratory diseases are more vulnerable to complications of COVID-19 infection. Everyone owes them a duty of care by not exposing them to visits and interactions that increase their risk of being infected.
“The Ministry of Health appeals to all residents to wash their hands regularly with soap and water, wear facemasks if they have compelling reasons to go out, observe physical distancing and avoid large gatherings. Our communities should also continue the public service of reporting suspicious cases in their areas. Stay home, stay safe, save lives”.
The senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Uba Sani, has condemned the attacks in four communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of the state that left several people dead and many injured.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Senator Sani said he was pained over the renewed attacks and counterattacks among the Fulani and Addara communities and therefore, called on both sides to cease hostilities.
According to him, the Fulani and Addara communities have been living in peace for decades and just like other communities in Nigeria and across the world, misunderstandings and challenges do arise.
“Such conflictual situations get resolved if community leaders have the interest of their people at heart and are committed to peace and development,” he said, noting, however, that it appears that some persons in the communities have been reaping from the conflicts hence worsening the misery of the people.
The lawmaker, therefore, called on the security agencies to move into action and arrest the ugly situation, adding that murderous elements must not be allowed free reign in the troubled communities.
“Those who are found to be fuelling the conflicts must be brought to book. The security agencies must ensure fairness and justice. We are one people and the way to peace is justice.
“I have commenced consultations with elders and youths on both sides of the conflict to work towards enduring peace.
“We can collectively turn the present situation into an opportunity to create bridges of understanding and resume the task of community building and development,” Sani said.
Kaduna State Standing Committee on COVID-19 says 50 persons have been quarantined at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp for violating the ban of interstate travel in compliance with the Quarantine Orders of the state.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye.
He noted the arrested travellers will be isolated for 14 days to ensure that they are COVID-19 free.
“The quarantine centre received its first set of 27 guests on Sunday, while 23 others were brought in on Monday, following the deployment of senior Kaduna State Government officials to enforce the restriction of movement at various points of entry into the state.
“Federal and state quarantine orders currently in force prohibit all non-essential travel. Therefore, all persons are expected to stay wherever they are until the quarantine restrictions are lifted,’’ Adekeye said.
He added that with the exception of persons on essential duty, anybody attempting to enter Kaduna State will henceforth be turned back and compelled to return to their points of departure.
He, however, appealed to all Kaduna State residents to cooperate with health officials whenever they are required to be tested for COVID-19, provide contact details or to submit themselves for isolation and treatment if they test positive.
Giving an update on the COVID-19 infections in Kaduna State, Adekeye said 15 patients have so far been discharged and four fatalities recorded.
In a statement on Sunday, the commissioner of Health, Dr Amina Baloni warns that it is illegal and dangerous for Covid-19 positive patients to switch off their phones and make themselves inaccessible to health authorities after being notified of their test results.’’
Dr Baloni disclosed that two persons were duly informed that they had tested positive while on isolation on Friday.
‘’ Health officials subsequently notified them that a team will be coming to convey them to the isolation centre for treatment. These persons subsequently switched off their phones and have remained incommunicado,’’ she revealed.
The Health Commissioner noted that ‘the reckless action of the absconded positive patients is not only endangering themselves but their families and the larger community.
‘’Similar irresponsible conduct by some Covid-19 positive cases has been reported in another state. It is a pattern of behaviour that must be stopped because it is patently dangerous to public safety, ‘’ she warned.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that the Northern Governors Forum is determined to bring an end to the Almajiri system in the region.
The governor said this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today, while explaining the repatriation process.
According to him, part of the steps agreed upon to end the system was to repatriate all almajiris back to their states of origin.
Speaking further, the governor noted that 169 almajiris have been brought back to the state since repatriations began.
65 out of the 169, according to him have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The governor stated that although the situation was not pleasant, the state is happy to receive them.
He explained: “In particular, the situation in Kano is such that if these children were not brought to us, they would simply have died in Kano. Some of them would survive the disease but the situation in Kano is overwhelming, I don’t think anyone would remember to look out for almajiris so, we’re happy to receive them from every part of Nigeria.
“But what the northern governors’ forum is determined to do, is to end this system once and for all because it has not worked for our part of the country and we are determined to end it once and for all.
“We are ready to face anyone that wants to confront us on this matter,” he added.
The governor stressed that they didn’t reach the decision just because of the COVID-19 but the plan had been in the pipeline all along and the emergence of the pandemic has only helped to fast-track the process.
Another step which the governors took was to review a law to prohibit the system.
“Today, we reviewed a law that would formally prohibit this system. We are not just abolishing the system, we are telling the parents of the children that they must go to school when schools re-open and we have tracked each and every one of the parents and counsel them on parental responsibility.
“It is a long process, but the children will go to school. They must go to school at least in Kaduna State, I can assure you of that,” he said.