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Federal Government lifts Kano lockdown

Two people wearing face marks on their motor cycle while waiting for traffic in Kano. Photo Sani: Maikatanga

The Federal Government has eased the total lockdown of Kano State over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who said this on Monday in Abuja at the 38th joint national briefing of the task force, also warned that the nation is yet to reach the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic infection thus the citizens should brace up for more cases.

According to him, these are parts of the recommendations the PTF submitted and which were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd-29th June, 2020, and subject to review.

Apparently yielding to religious leaders demands, the SGF announced the relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.

“Ban on inter-state travels except for movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services; managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission; mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places;

“Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places; extensive temperature checks in public places; maintaining two metres between people in public places; strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities; isolation of vulnerable populations (elderly and those with underlying health conditions),” Mustapha said.

He said that the PTF would also engage in massive information and education campaigns.; deepening of collaborative efforts with the community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions; continuous mobilisation of state governments to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF.

“Continued provision of support by the NCDC to States through guidelines to shape decision-making in responding to high burden LGAs and Wards; and easing the total lockdown of Kano State and introduction of Phase One of the Eased Lockdown,” he added.

He recalled that when the PTF briefed the nation on Monday 18th May, 2020, they informed that Mr. President had approved amongst others, the extension of phase one of the eased lockdown so that the observed gaps in the expected impact of the National Response could be closed and the gains consolidated.

He said that the action was based on the guidelines developed and published by the PTF, working in collaboration with sub-national entities and key stakeholders.

Mustapha said that Nigeria’s national response has continued to rely on science, data, experiences drawn from other nations and consideration of our peculiar environment to address the pandemic, while observing the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Daily Trust reports that shortly after lifting the lockdown, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje also ordered for the opening of all the markets in Kano State on the days of the relaxation of the lockdown which are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 6am to 6pm..

A statement by Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the Special Adviser Media to the governor, said: “However, the state government is appealing to people to ensure that they wear face masks and wash their hands, they should respect all the protocols laid down my experts.”

Yakasai also said Ganduje would summon an emergency meeting with market leaders.

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