Governor Nasir El-Rufai has reviewed the Quarantine Orders which was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in March, after 60 days of partial lockdown
The Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe made this known in a state broadcast on Tuesday, while giving an update on the lockdown.
According to her, the adjusted orders are aimed at expanding 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 said.
Deputy Governor Balarabe said that restaurants will be allowed to open strictly to offer takeaway services, warning that ‘’bars, sporting venues and event centres remain closed so are hotels that have not specifically licensed as essential service providers during this period.’’
Dr Balarabe who reiterated that the revised regulations will come into effect from Monday, 1st June 2020, however said that the lockdown has been extended for two weeks.
The Deputy Governor said that the new regulations ‘’ 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,’’ the Deputy Governor added.
Dr Balarabe who is also the chair of the state Standing Committee on COVID-19, warned that ‘’informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop.’’
She reiterated that interstate and intercity travel remain banned, adding that ‘’government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.
‘’ In addition, the night time curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am,’’ Dr Balarabe added.
The chair of COVID-19 Standing Committee warned that ‘’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 said.
The Deputy Governor pointed out that ‘’these 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.’’
According to her, ‘’government is conscious of the sacrifices that citizens have made and the many challenges that remain in keeping them safe from Covid-19.’’
Dr Balarabe advised citizens to demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of facemasks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular handwashing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings.
Deputy Governor Balarabe threatened that ‘’violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions. A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions.’’
‘’Kaduna State has so far conducted 1900 tests and had recorded a total of 189 Covid-19 cases as at 25th May 2020. Ideally, the state would prefer to conduct so many more tests, but we are constrained by a host of factors.
‘’During the two-week extension, the state will continue to expand its public health response, including testing capacity. The Ministry of Health Team will continue to conduct more tests in identified hotspots,’’ she promised.