By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Kaduna State Government has announced the extension of lockdown for an additional two weeks, after the expiration of the month-long extension of lockdown earlier imposed on the state.
It explained that the extension, which will bring the total lockdown duration in the state to 80 days, had become imperative after it reviewed the Quarantine Orders, and as part of measures to protect, empower the citizens to lead the fight against coronavirus in the state.
The State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i, said the extension was also to review other measures and come up with necessary adjustments to the partial lockdown in a bid to ensure the gradual reopening of the economy and safe resumption of the pursuit of livelihoods in the state.
El-Rufa’i, who spoke through his Deputy, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, during a statewide broadcast on Tuesday evening, said, part of the plans that necessitated the extension of the partial lockdown regulations for two weeks was to permit the reopening of certain sectors of the economy.
“The extension of the Quarantine Orders, by two weeks was to empower citizens to more steadfastly carry forward, the against fight Covid-19. Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens 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. Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions. A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions,” he said.
He noted that that the permitted sectors for reopening will be subjected to strict compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus, adding the ban on interstate travels remains intact in the state.
“Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. This window also allows vulcanizers, welders, mechanics, and providers of similar services to operate on the same days.”
“However, the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remains. Government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement. In addition, the nighttime curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6 pm to 6 am. Government, however, said 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.”
“Restaurants will be allowed to open strictly to offer takeaway services. However, bars, sporting venues, and event centers remain closed as are hotels that have not specifically licensed as essential service providers during this period.”