Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has extended the lockdown order being enforced in the state for another 30 days.
The governor’s decision follows a recommendation to that effect by the State Standing Committee on Covid-19, which is chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe.
This is effective from Sunday, 26th April 2020.
With Covid-19 cases rising rapidly in neighbouring states and the FCT, and with strong evidence of interstate travel being a major means of spreading the virus, the Standing Committee’s evaluation is that measures to protect Kaduna State residents require further strengthening and more vigorous enforcement.
El-Rufai has endorsed this evaluation and has accordingly reviewed the Quarantine Orders to strengthen the provisions against unauthorised movements.
The two-day window during which the restriction of movement is relaxed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays has been reduced to only one day.
Henceforth, only Wednesdays will be lockdown-free, until the trajectory of Covid-19 infections becomes clearer.
A statement from the Kaduna State Government, issued by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication), said all persons that venture out of their homes for whatever reason must wear face masks and observe social distancing everywhere they go, in markets and in authorised vehicles.
“Government is making efforts to provide face masks for poor and vulnerable residents, and it appeals to everyone that can afford it to get their tailors to make them cloth face masks which they can wash after every use. The government also encourages tailors to produce face masks for sale to those that are neither poor nor vulnerable.
Wearing of face masks will be robustly enforced as a critical public health measure to reduce person-person transmission,” the statement said.
The state government said that the measures announced on 26th March 2020, to contain Covid-19 remained in force and had been renewed.
The statement said mobile courts had been empowered by the Quarantine Orders to try violators and impose the prescribed penalties, including fines, imprisonment and forfeiture of vehicles, upon conviction.
“Conscious of the need to keep vital industries and businesses in the farming, food and pharmaceutical value chains operational, trailers and trucks conveying food, seeds, fertilizer and medical products are exempted from the restriction of movement.
“Such vehicles must, however, not carry more than three persons, including the driver. Otherwise they will be deemed to be engaging in illegal transport of persons which is a breach of quarantine orders.
“Anyone thinking of disguising as a food vendor by parading a few bags of rice or other food in their cars must cut the pretence as they will be prosecuted at the mobile court and the vehicle forfeited to the government upon conviction,” the statement said.
The government said the extension of the quarantine conditions imposed an obligation to make provision for the low income, poor and vulnerable persons that would be adversely affected, as they might be unable to earn any income while the lockdown persisted.
“The state government has done a first phase of distribution of food across 59 community clusters in nine local government areas. The next phase will be conducted across the 23 local government areas.
“To fund the provision of these support packages, the Kaduna State Government expects all those fortunate enough to still earn a regular income to live up to their neighbourly responsibility towards those who are unable to earn any money due to no fault of theirs.
“Therefore, the less than 100, 000 persons who work for the Kaduna State Government as political appointees and public servants must contribute financially towards enabling the almost 10 million persons living in the state to survive and thrive in this emergency period.
“Therefore, the Kaduna State Government has directed all its senior appointees, including Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers and Heads of Agencies to each donate N500,000 in April 2020. In subsequent months, they will donate 50% of their salaries until the quarantine ends. Other categories of political appointees will also be making monthly donations to support the provision of relief to the low income, poor and vulnerable residents of the state.
“Career public servants earning a net pay of N67,000 and above after tax will also donate 25% of their pay monthly whilst the quarantine conditions are in place. No public servant will have less N50,000 monthly to manage in this emergency period,” the government said.