COVID-19: Sokoto bans interstate travels from Friday

By Abdallah el-Kurebe 

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, has announced interstate routes to and out of the state, would be closed from midnight of Friday, to curtail spread of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic into the state. 

The governor made the announcement during a press conference held at the government house, Thursday evening. 

He said although Sokoto is experiencing relative safety, with no case so far recorded and with the only suspected case tested negative, it was imperative for the state government to take precautionary measures for the protection of citizens. 

The governor emphasized that there will be no interstate movement, except for the supply of food and essential medical commodities, pending observations on trends of the disease in our dear state and country.

“Consequent upon the nature of this disease and the need to take precautionary measures in line with international best practices and with national policies, which conform with established and extant regulations, as enshrined in the Islamic code that addressed challenges such as this, all inter states routes into Sokoto state, are to be closed from midnight of Friday, March 27th 2020 to 10th April 2020 (for the initial two weeks), except for the supply of food and essential medical commodities, pending observations on trends of the disease in our dear state and country.  

“Similarly, all state civil servants on GL 12 and below are to work from their homes for an initial two weeks from Friday March 27 2020 to Friday April 10 2020. 

“Notwithstanding the fact that the State has not recorded any case of this disease, the State Government constituted a task force team of experts under the leadership of the State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammed Ali Inname on the 19th March 2020,” Tambuwal stated. 

He further stated that the committee was mandated “to advise government on all measures needed to be taken to prevent the entry and spread of the disease into Sokoto State and also to organise public enlightenment campaigns and statewide engagement with members of the public.” 

Other measures taken by the state government, he further stated is “a consultative meeting with traditional leaders and Ulama under the able leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto with the Task Force Committee on Coronavirus and leadership of security agencies in the State, which was held on Tuesday.                

Tambuwal said further measures would be “predicated on expert advice from the State Ministry of Health, Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, and Federal Ministry of Health as and when the need arises.” 

He called on the people to cooperate with relevant authorities and adhere to the measures in the interest of the well-being and survival as the human race.

He also urged community and religious leaders to sensitize the public on the disease and report early any observed symptoms.