COVID-19: Kaduna orders total lockdown

Hadiza Balarabe, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State
Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State

Kaduna State Government has ordered a lockdown of the state by imposing a 24 hour curfew throughout the state from the midnight of Thursday, 26, March 2020.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, who made this known in a state broadcast on Thursday, stressed that all residents of Kaduna state must stay at home adding that “no offices, businesses of any sort or places of worship are allowed to open.”

Dr. Balarabe however clarified that, “the only category of persons exempted are workers in essential services such as health workers, the fire service and security personnel.”

EDITOR’S PICK: Kaduna suspends religious, social gatherings

She warned that the curfew will be strictly enforced by the security agencies, adding that “they have clear directives for the immediate arrest and prosecution of any person that violates these measures.”

The Deputy Governor said the decision followed the non-compliance to certain measures that were earlier put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

She added that “apart from flouting the directive against large gatherings, there were also reports of certain persons not obeying the ban announced on motorcycle taxis and ‘Keke-Napep’ tricycles.”

“The State Standing Committee on COVID-19 prevention met on Thursday to review global and national developments relating to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Committee also considered reports of unsatisfactory compliance levels with the preventive measures that have been outlined by the government in repeated announcements, and with increasing severity, over the past seven days,” she stated.

She explained that Kaduna State has therefore been declared a public health area, adding that “Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19, is hereby declared as a dangerous, infectious disease within the meaning of the Quarantine Act.”

Dr. Balarabe further said the decision was in exercise of the powers vested in the Governor by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999, (as amended), Sections 2 and 8 of the Quarantine Act 1926 and the Kaduna State Public Health Law of 1917.

“Churches and Mosques will be shut; there will no congregational prayers or services either within these places of worship or outdoors. Wedding events and all social gatherings are strictly prohibited while these emergency measures remain in place,” the Deputy Governor warned.

Dr. Balarabe said “any place of worship, event centre or place that hosts social gatherings will be in violation of its term of grant and therefore risks forfeiting its title and having the site of the offense removed.

“We recognise that Kaduna State is a transport hub. Therefore, transit through Kaduna will be allowed, provided that such vehicles ply only the Western bye-pass.”

She said the government recognises that the lockdown will have consequences on everyone, but more so for the vulnerable persons in our communities.

Daily Trust reports that the Kaduna State Government had last Friday advised religious leaders to suspend all religious gatherings such as Friday Juma’at prayers, daily congregational prayers and Sunday services as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This followed the state government’s directive which closed down all schools including nursery and primary schools, secondary schools and all tertiary institutions in the state effective Monday, March 23, 2020 for 30 days.

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