Ganduje eases Kano lockdown as coronavirus cases rise

The governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has announced the easing of lockdown in the state despite rising numbers of the coronavirus.

The governor said on Saturday that residents can use Monday and Thursday to shop for Ramadan food items.

The governor’s spokesperson, Salihu Yakasai, in a brief statement said during the period, movement of persons in the state would be limited to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

He also said during the period wearing of face mask in public will be mandatory. He advised people to observe personal hygiene and maintain social distance to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Kano governor’s directive contradicts that issued by President Muhammadu Buhari four days ago.

During his broadcast on Monday, the president ordered a ‘total lockdown’ of Kano.

“With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighboring States,” the president said.

In his statement on Saturday, Mr Yakasai did not indicate if Governor Ganduje discussed with the president before amending the lockdown in Kano.

Kano’s Increased Cases

The result announced by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday showed Kano leading the table of daily coronavirus cases for the second straight day ahead of Abuja and Lagos.

While Kano reported 92 new infections on Friday, Abuja followed with 36 while Lagos fell to third for the first time with 30 cases.

In all, Lagos remains the Nigeria’s epicentre of the disease with 1,006 cases, followed by Kano with 311 and Abuja with 214.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned countries against the hasty lifting of restrictions as the coronavirus pandemic may worsen.

Some countries have commenced the gradual lifting of their lockdowns so as to reopen their economies after weeks of restrictions aimed at stalling the spread of the deadly virus which has killed over 230,000 across the globe.

The WHO Executive Director on Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, said even if the ease in such lockdowns are eventually effected, there is the need to continue observing physical distancing and hygiene measures.

“It’s really important that as countries ease those measures that they are constantly on the look out for a jump in infections and in particular are dealing with transmission in special settings,” Mr Ryan told reportes on Friday.

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