By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Kaduna State Government has imposed movements restriction to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, disclosed this during a state broadcast on Monday.
According to him, the Government has directed civil servants from Level 12 and below to remain at home for the next 30 days, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
He however explained that Workers providing essential services, especially in the health, security and emergency service sectors are exempted from this directive.
He urged every other person to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
El-Rufai added that since markets constitute a source of large gatherings to manage this in the interim, only traders selling food and medicines are permitted to open their shops, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
“This directive will be vigorously enforced by the security agencies and the Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company which will also ensure that all markets are fumigated
“My dear people of Kaduna State, it is a sad fact that coronavirus is in Nigeria. I address you today to reinforce the message that the danger from Covid-19 is real.
“This disease has devastated countries all over the world. Even the most advanced nations are struggling to contain the virus. Our best chance to contain the disease is to prevent it from taking root and spreading in our state.
“I wish to reiterate that given our circumstances in Nigeria, with the limited capacity of our health system, preventive measures are the best way to protect our people.
“The Deputy Governor, Dr, Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe and I, jointly hosted a live media chat last Friday on this matter. During the two hours of the chat, we reminded people to observe personal hygiene, especially respiratory hygeine, wash their hands regularly with soap and water, and avoid large gatherings.
“Kaduna State Government has decided to move from advice to actual enforcement of its restrictions on large gatherings, especially in churches and mosques. Security agencies have been directed to ensure compliance across the state.
“These agencies will also enforce compliance with the decision to close all schools, whether public or private, religious or secular, Islamiya or run by Christian missions.
“The state government will not hesitate to impose a statewide curfew, should that become the only way to enforce compliance and make everyone understand the collective danger that we face.
“The emphasis on prevention is the only logical thing to do because our health system cannot cope with an outbreak of Covid-19. It is better to impose restrictions and save lives, than to be complacent and bury victims.
“Countries that have hesitated to impose extraordinary measures to contain coronavirus are now regretting. We have a chance to avoid such mistakes.
“Therefore, we reiterate the advise for people to stay at home and avoid moving around, unless it becomes necessary. Every trip should be postponed until this pandemic is curtailed. Only those who are alive can travel.
“Keep yourself and others safe by staying in one place. To this end, we have contacted the relevant federal authorities to stop the Abuja-Kaduna train service and thus limit the danger from contact on the train and influx from people who might have been exposed to infected persons.
“At a time of danger, non-essential travel is a dangerous luxury and there is no point pretending that we are in normal times.
“I want to urge all citizens who recently returned from travel overseas to please self-isolate for 14 days. Any symptoms of cough, fever or difficulty in breathing should be reported to the following numbers: 08025088304, 08032401473, 08035871662 and 08037808191,” he said