Kwara shuts borders, fumigate markets, bans house-to-house distribution of palliatives

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Amid efforts to block entries of vehicles from outside and prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, the Kwara State government has announced the immediate closure of its local and external borders.

It however said the closure excludes all categories of movement sanctioned in the broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the partial shutdowns within the state remain in force until further notice.

“The government hereby announces  the shutting down of all our land borders and movement to the state from elsewhere. The only exemptions to this rule are those stated in the address of Mr President.

Specifically,  these are vehicles carrying agricultural produce, medical equipments, and officials on essential duties related to COVID-19 campaign,” Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19,  Kayode Alabi told journalists in Ilorin yesterday.

“All previous restrictions and exemptions locally remain in force. A specific warning here goes to commercial motorcyclists  (Okada riders) who have been violating the shutdown orders. Any violators caught would face the full consequences of the law.”

Alabi,  also said the government will begin fumigation of markets and other specific locations after which specific markets would be designated for people to purchase essentials like food and medicines.

He  commended corporate bodies and individuals for their donations to the government and specifically commended  Senator Sadiq Umar, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, Unifoam, and Rajrab pharmaceuticals for their contributions to the state’s counter-COVID-19 efforts.

Alabi  said the government’s palliative measures are ready for deployment and would be handled by a committee chaired by the Emir of Shonga,  Haliru Yahaya , who is due to brief the media  today  on the modalities.

Related news: Israel approves spying on own citizens to fight coronavirus

Bauchi imposes 14-day lockdown 

In an effort to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, Bauchi State governor,  Senator Bala Mohammed,  has  authorised the  imposition of 14 days lockdown  through out the state beginning tomorrow.

This was contained in a release  signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mohammed Sabiu Baba yesterday.

The lockdown, statement stated  will start from 6:00 pm tomorrow,  just as the governor also directed that all borders to Bauchi State be closed from that day.

The governor, who appreciated all the sacrifices being made by the public “in these agonising times”, added  that the  ban does not affect essential services.

“He has subsequently directed that in order for the public  to secure food items, movement is allowed between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on  Wednesdays and Saturdays,“ .

“The governor appeals to the public to appreciate that these measures are aimed at controlling the spread of Coronavirus outbreak that is threatening society. He appeals for continuous prayer,” the statement concluded

Meanwhile, a  Chinese group, Mutual Commitment Group (MCG) has donated medical protection materials to the state government in order to fight the spread of coronavirus and other deadly diseases in the state.

Items donated included 2,000  surgical face-masks and 2,000 medical gloves as the immediate first donation.

The group’s Managing Director, Lui Zhaolong said 150,000 protection medical materials  were donated to assist Nigeria for emergency use to the various counter-COVID-19 front organisations and offices.

Zhaolong said the group would continue to do its best by ensuring Chinese and Nigerian citizens overcome Coronavirus.

He believed  that what China achieved in the past  two months would definitely be achieved in Nigeria.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro, who represented the deputy governor, Baba Tela,  said the donation would go a long way in assisting the state government to consolidate on it’s fight against the coronavirus in the state.

 Ortom Inaugurates LG C’mttees

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom,  has inaugurated Local Government Action Committees on Coronavirus with a charge on members to ensure adequate awareness creation at the local government level.

Performing  the ceremony at the New Banquet Hall of Government House in Makurdi yesterday, , the governor said the COVID-19 pandemic requires all hands to be on deck to prevent its spread, stressing that the sensitisation must go to the hinterlands in order to save lives.

He expressed optimism that the council chairmen who  are also chairmen of the Action Committees at the local government level would collaborate with traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders to drive the campaign on prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ortom, expressed his readiness to submit a sample of his blood for testing and promised to make the result public after the test, even as he urged his deputy to do same.

The governor, who  also advised council chairmen to prioritise  payment of salaries, directed them to set aside N5 million naira each to fund the activities of COVID-19 in their domains and also attend to any emergencies concerning the virus.

He commended the  Chairman of the Action Committee on COVID-19 , who is his deputy, Benson Abounu and other members for their proactiveness on issues despite discouraging comments from some members of the public.

The governor  lamented the attitude of the first index case of the virus in the state  for taking to the cyberspace to spread falsehood in order to assuage public sympathy.

He stressed that the magnitude of the pandemic was beyond sentiments of whatever kind.

Abounu disclosed that the council chairmen would head the committees while second class traditional rulers would serve as deputies with directors, general services and administration serving as secretaries and other categories of membership cutting across security, civil societies among others.

Meanwhile, Benue State Chairman  of Christian Association  of Nigeria, (CAN), Rev. Akpen Leva,  has called on the leadership of the association at the local government level to sensitise their members at the grassroots on the dangers of  the pandemic and how to curtail its spread in their domains.

Leva, who made the call during a meeting with the 23 local government coordinators of CAN in Makurdi, charged  them not to toy with the pandemic disease,  but to educate their members at their various local government areas to enable them enjoy healthy living.

He urged the local government coordinators to adhere to the suspension of all church activities in the state for  the next two weeks among other gatherings,  stressing that the temporary suspension of church activities was for the collective interest of the people of the state.

The cleric also informed the local government CAN coordinators of the proactive steps taken by the state government to combat the ravaging disease.

CAN begins distribution of food items to needy members

In order to cushion the effects of the ongoing 24-hour curfew imposed on Kaduna State,  as a measure to check the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in the state, said that it had N2m worth of food items ready to be distributed to the needy members.

The chapter’s chairman, Rev. John Joseph Hayab told Daily Sun that, the items contributed by notable members (names withheld), would be taken to identified homes of those that need the assistance in order to keep to social distancing guideline.

Read also: Coronavirus worst challenge after WW2 – UN

According to him, the package could only reach and sustain 1,000 households for a week at the beginning, while calling on those with resources to do more to reach more people especially, the daily earners.

‘‘Following the global outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, CAN in Kaduna has initiated measures to bring succour to its members especially the less privileged.

“CAN, has through its notable members contributed about N2m worth of foodstuffs which we have started dispatching to those that have been identified to be in need following the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government to curb the spread of the deadly disease in the state.

“It  is meant to help encourage them to obey government orders and stay at home. A hungry man when he has nothing to give his family may be tempted to disobey but we do not want to give room for that temptation that is why we are giving people a helping hand in order to cushion the hardship most Nigerians are going through at this trying moment.

Niger gov appeals to AEDC for extension of electricity hours

In a bid to reduce the suffering of the people following  the stay-at-home directives, the Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has appealed to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to increase the hours of electricity supply in the state from the current three hours in a day to at least 18 hours.

The governor,  who made the appeal in Minna, the state capital while giving an up date on further measures put in place by the government to check the spread of the Coronavirus in the state, pointed out that the current three hours of electricity a day will further compound the suffering of the people who are made to stay at home as a result of the lockdown.

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