Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the easing of the lockdown and other measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
While briefing reporters on Tuesday at the Government House in Minna, he directed markets, banks and other places of business activities to reopen, but with strict adherence to all safety measures.
The governor, however, stated that there would be strict enforcement of the compulsory use of face masks in public places and adherence to physical distancing.
He also asked the police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute persons not wearing face masks in public places.
Governor Bello explained that the government took the decision to relax the lockdown after reviewing its strategies and assessment of the current realities.
He revealed that the state Ministry of Education has been directed to liaise with all stakeholders in the educational sector to develop a workable strategy for the reopening of schools in the state.
The governor asked all civil servants to remain at home except those on essential services and thanked the people of the state, especially frontline workers for their effort in the fight against COVID-19.
Read the full text of the governor’s briefing below:
MEDIA BRIEFING BY ALHAJI (DR.) ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO, GOVERNOR, NIGER STATE AND CHAIRMAN NORTH-CENTRAL GOVERNORS FORUM ON EASING OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN IN NIGER STATE AT THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, MINNA; TUESDAY 9TH JUNE 2020.
Once again I thank all Nigerlites, particularly the frontline workers who have been making sacrifices for the containment of COVID-19. We, in our different roles, we have all demonstrated our commitment to the collective wellbeing of all, even in the face of outright discomfort.
As at today, the state has recorded 46 cases of COVID-19 and one death, out of which 26 of them have been discharged and reunited with their families. This represents more than half of the cases we have had to manage.
All confirmed cases so far are limited to nine LGAs of Chanchaga, Suleja, Rafi, Bida, Shiroro, Borgu, Bosso, Mariga, and Kontagora.
However, we have established additional quarantine centres in Minna and Suleja to cater for humane repatriation of Almajirai to reunite with their families and curtail the chances of contracting the virus and its spread.
After reviewing our strategies and assessment of the current realities, the following guidelines shall be used going forward:
All measures earlier put in place shall be eased – nonetheless, there shall be enhanced enforcement of the compulsory use of facemask in public places and adherence to Physical distancing;
Henceforth, markets, banks and other places of business activities should be opened with strict adherence to all safety measures;
There shall be no more lockdown days, hence restriction of movement shall be from 10pm to 4am;
The ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services will remain in force;
All intra-state travels are to be eased and the internal security checkpoints should be dismantled;
The ban on commercial motorcycle operators shall remain;
Public motor parks and other public transportation centres must continue to abide by the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Transport for their operations;
State government to support IBB University to establish a testing centre to include antibody and antigen tests.
Police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone not wearing face masks in public places within the state;
The State Ministry of Education is directed to liaise with all stakeholders in the educational sector towards developing a workable strategy for the reopening of our schools;
All civil servants are to remain at home except those on essential services.
We are redoubling our efforts to operationalize a molecular testing laboratory at General Hospital Minna, to increase our testing capacity and reduce the turnaround time for the release of results.
Our surveillance systems are being enhanced to quickly detect any case of coronavirus including investigation, monitoring and management of positive cases.
As we strengthen our sensitization efforts to improve case search within our communities to mitigate against community transmission among others, I wish to call on our traditional leaders, religious clerics, market associations, transport unions, youth groups, NGOs, CBOs, to deepen community outreach so that collectively we will curtail this pandemic.
While we continue to do our part, I appeal to everyone to continue to adhere to personal hygiene procedures as well as other precautionary measures.
Thank you all and stay safe.