Wednesday, 27 May 2020

El Rufai Extends Kaduna Lockdown By Another Two Weeks

Churches, Mosques and schools are to remain closed in Kaduna State after the state government extended its Quarantine Order for two weeks on Tuesday. This is coming 60 days after the first order, which compelled residents to remain indoors as part of its strategies to contain COVID-19, came into effect. The Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, on Tuesday said after 60 days, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had approved the recommendations of a committee planning a post-lockdown scenario by extending the partial lockdown regulations for two weeks, with adjustments to permit the reopening of certain sectors.

Balarabe, who spoke in a state wide broadcast, commended the sacrifices made by residents of the state since the Quarantine Orders came into effect on 26th March 2020. She, however, said from June, 1 2020, a revised regulations will come into effect that will give citizens a three-day window every week to shop for food and other essentials. “Until otherwise stated, the lockdown-free days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. “Temporary neighbourhood markets will continue to operate from 10am to 4pm on these three days, but citizens can move from 6am to 6pm on these lockdown-free days. “Informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop,” she said.

The deputy governor clarified that for this week, the relaxation of movement will be effected on Wednesday and Thursday, adding that the measures are intended to preserve the state’s ability to protect citizens, empower citizens to lead the fight against COVID-19 and make necessary adjustments to the partial lockdown to permit the safe resumption of the pursuit of livelihoods in more sectors. “Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of face masks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings. “Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions.

“A spike in COVID-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions. “The adjusted orders also expand the ability of citizens to resume the pursuit of livelihoods, in permitted sectors subject to compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing. “Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. “This window also allows vulcanisers, welders, mechanics and providers of similar services to operate on the same days,” she further stated

Dr. Balarabe however reemphasized that the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remains and stressed that government officials and mobile courts will enforce the ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement while the nighttime curfew enforced across the state still remains from 6pm to 6am. “Schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders. “The relevant government officials and agencies will be engaging with religious leaders, transport unions, traditional institutions, market unions, school proprietors and other stakeholders as may be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors,” she stated. She said while restaurants will be allowed to open strictly to offer takeaway services, bars, sporting venues and event centres remain closed as are hotels that have not specifically licensed as essential service providers during the period.

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