Kaduna: El-Rufai restores two-day window, Wednesdays, Saturdays lockdown-free

Kaduna State Government has restored the two day window that will allow residents to restock food and other essentials on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a day after it reduced the number of lockdown-free days to one.

A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye on Monday, said that the decision was taken at the end of the daily meeting of the State Standing Committee on Covid-19, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe.

Adekeye said that this restoration of a two-day weekly window for movement was part of efforts to mitigate the effects of the lockdown.

According to the Special Adviser, Sunday’s decision to restrict the number of days that residents are to restock was ‘necessitated by the growing danger from the Covid-19 situation in neighbouring states.’’

The statement recalled that the five new Covid-19 cases in the state are persons that were recently repatriated from Kano.

The Special Adviser said that ‘’this week Wednesday, residents wearing facemasks can go to shops and markets selling foods and medicines to restock’’, adding that the traders ‘’must also wear face masks, and their customers are expected to observe social distancing.’’

‘’However, all markets will be closed after Wednesday to be replaced by temporary neighbourhood markets which will commence operations this Saturday.

‘’Sellers of food and medicines will be allocated spaces in public schools and other public facilities so that they can serve specific neighbourhoods. Every effort will be made to site these temporary markets within walking distance so that people can pick their groceries and other essentials right in their local areas.

‘’The temporary neighbourhood markets will operate from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and social distancing will be observed during their operations,’’ he said.

Adekeye said that this ‘’will address one of the main reasons why people commute outside their neighbourhoods, and permit more economic activity to happen in a structured manner during quarantine conditions.’’

According to the statement, ‘’details of the locations approved for the temporary neighbourhood markets and the rules of their operations are to be announced later.’’

‘Persons who already run neighbourhood shops that sell foodand provisions are allowed to open daily. However, traders in non-essential goods are advised to remain closed,’’ he added.

The statement reminded residents that vehicles that are not involved in essential services are not permitted to be on the road.

The Special Adviser said that revised Quarantine Orders which will to be published on Tuesday, ‘’will also detail the categories of persons, professions and businesses that are exempted from quarantine conditions.’’

The COVID-19 Standing Committee also approved an enhanced pay package for frontline health workers, he said, adding that the state government ‘’ has also taken life and disability insurance policies.’’

The statement disclosed that government’s gesture ‘’ is in appreciation of the occupational safety issues they confront in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and the commitment they have shown. ‘’