Governor Nasir El-Rufai has warned that although the infection rate of COVID-19 has greatly reduced, there will be more pandemics in the future because the world has become globalized.
The governor who made this remark as Chief Host of at lecture organized by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation in Kaduna on Saturday said that ‘’ there will be more coronaviruses that will come to this country.’’
‘’ The world has globalized remarkably; people travel around the world and many of our people go to China and other countries. And sooner or later, there will be another coronavirus, not COVID-19, may be COVID-25 or COVID-30. But it will be there,’’ the predicted.
The governor said that ‘’the imperative for us as governments are to prepare for the eventuality’’ adding that Kaduna state has been preparing for it.
According to him, the only Infectious Disease Centre of Kaduna state had just a capacity of only 16 beds when the index case of Covid-19 was recorded on March 28, 2020.
‘’ We had no infectious Disease Hospital, we had no testing center, we had nothing. I’m happy to say that because of COVID-19, as of yesterday (Friday) 28th May 2021, we have eight COVID-19 testing laboratories, from zero in March 2020. We conducted over 102 tests, a little over one percent of our population, and we continue to do so,’’ he disclosed.
El Rufai further said that Kaduna state has ‘’built a brand new 136-bed Infectious Diseases Hospital in record time, and we are in the process of building five infectious diseases wards in our general hospitals. Indeed, our plan is that before the end of 2022, every General Hospital in Kaduna State will have an Infectious Diseases, Isolation Ward.’’
The governor revealed that ‘’as at yesterday(Friday), 9,079 residents of Kaduna state have been infected by covid-29, 9, 002 have been discharged, that gives a balance of 77. 65 have died and 12 are still being treated. ‘’
‘’Our infection rate has gone down to less than .5%, we are quite comfortable with the infection rate. But with what is happening in India, we are still very, very scared,’’ he added. El Rufai who said that God has been kind to Africa and Nigeria warned that Nigerians should not dare Him, adding that ‘’let’s take all the precautions necessary, to keep our people safe and alive. ‘’
‘’We received about 180,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and we started vaccination on the 10th of March, with strategic leaders and frontline health workers. We have so far vaccinated 92,989 with the first dose, as of yesterday and we are going to begin the second dose of the vaccination on Monday by the Grace of God.
According to the governor, the theme of the lecture, which is ‘’Northern Nigeria Economy After the Covid-19 Pandemic’’ is very appropriate.
He congratulated the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation ‘’for having the foresight to assemble these crème de la cream of economic thought, all from northern Nigeria to think through these challenges and perhaps chart a way forward. ‘’
‘’Sir Ahmadu Bello, without any doubt, the greatest leader that Northern Nigeria has ever had. All of us are beneficiaries of his vision, his legacies, and his examples,’’ he said.
‘’Every day in the Northern States Governors’ Forum, we ask ourselves what will Sardauna do when faced with a problem. Almost 60 years after his death, late Sir Ahmadu Bello is still the gold standard of governance, good politics, and sound management,’’ he said.
El Rufai also paid tribute to the ‘’ late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the First and Last Prime Minister of Nigeria, late Mahmoud Ribadu, the Minister of Defence of independent Nigeria, Sir Kashim Ibrahim, the first Governor of Northern Nigeria.’’