* Confirmed cases rise to 21 in 5 days
* Locals urge more commitment from govt
Heavily armed security operatives have taken over major streets in Kano as the one-week lockdown imposed by the state government took effect from 10 O’clock last night. The lockdown is to stem the fast-spreading coronavirus which is increasing daily. Daily Trust reports that Kano has a population of over 13 million people, and is the third state in the North West to record the COVID-19 case after Kaduna and Katsina.
Before Kano recorded its index case on Saturday, April 11, there had been mounting pressure on the government to shut its borders with other states in addition to stricter movement measures. However, the closure of the boundaries did not happen until Friday, March 27, when the state government banned interstate travels. It was 15 days after the closure of the boundaries that the index case was reported, heightening fears that the vital period had already been lost.
The first COVID-19 case was a 75-year-old retiree and a former ambassador who reportedly travelled to Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos and went back to Kano on March 25. The index case allegedly withheld critical information about his medical condition and travel history to doctors at the hospital where he was first treated, with sources saying that before then, the man had allegedly attended several functions, a development related to the rising cases of the disease in the state.
On Monday, April 13, two additional cases of the COVID-19 were recorded in Kano and on Wednesday, April 15, the state government announced five more cases in the morning and in the evening of the same day, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 12 additional cases, making it a total of 21cases within a space of four days in the state. The news of the first fatality of the COVID-19 was also reported by the media even though neither the Kano State government nor the NCDC has issued a statement in that respect.
However, there are fears in many quarters on the preparedness of the state government in terms of resources, manpower and logistics to stem the coronavirus pandemic through contact tracing, isolation and treatment.
Experts say considering its landmass and strategic location as the business nerve of the North, authorities in Kano State would have to do a lot to make headway in stopping the spread of the COVID-19.