A gatekeeper in Kaduna state has tested positive for coronavirus, the government has said.
The unanmed man recently returned from Lagos State and has no connection to the first five confirmed cases of the virus in Kaduna.
Amina Baloni, the Kaduna commissioner for health, said this in a statement on Saturday.
She said with the latest case, the number of confirmed cases in the state as of Friday was six.
The commissioner said that the latest case ‘’is a male who worked as a gateman in the Mando area and recently returned from Lagos.‘’
According to Mrs Baloni, the sixth case had ‘’traveled to Kaduna on public transport and made contact with the authorities as his symptoms worsened. The patient has been evacuated to the state’s Infectious Disease Centre.”
The commissioner warned that the latest case presents the nightmare scenario of possible community transmission of Covid-19 in the state.
‘’It is very difficult and complicated to trace the contacts of a patient who came from Lagos via public transport and had some instance of local commuting since his arrival,” she said.
The government said the Rapid Response Team is trying its utmost to elicit from him a list of his contacts, so that they can be traced and monitored.
“He does not know who his fellow passengers from Lagos are. But the team is working to develop an idea of his local contacts in Kaduna, including any vehicles he commuted in and people he met at the hospital he visited and within his neighbourhood,’’ she said.
Mrs Baloni argued that, “it was in order to prevent and avert a scenario like this that the government has consistently appealed to the public to practise social distancing and directed commercial buses to carry no more than two passengers per row.’’
‘’The instances that have now been recorded of people spreading Covid-19 from one state to another further reinforces the need to stop all inter-state travel. People need to stay in one place and help reduce the footprint of Covid-19,’’ she further argued.
The statement maintained that the government also banned motorcycle taxis and Keke because they do not satisfy the conditions for social distancing.
The commissioner also reiterated the government’s advice against large gatherings and congregational prayers, adding that ‘’now that there is a case of possible community transmission of Covid-19, residents must begin to take more seriously the quarantine conditions.‘’
The statement warned that ‘’it is important to stay at home, go out only when absolutely necessary and practice personal hygiene, especially washing hands with soap and water regularly. Residents should also observe respiratory hygiene.’’
According to Mrs Baloni, these are dangerous times, but we can work together to stop this disease from spreading. It is cheaper and better to prevent Covid-19 than to catch it, she said.
Nigeria as of Friday had a total of 305 cases of coronavirus. Fifty eight have been discharged and seven have died.