Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has stated that the state government is counting on the cooperation of citizens in containing the surge in Covid-19 infections.
He said that a lockdown is not the immediate focus of the Kaduna State.
The governor, who made the appeal during a media chat with some broadcast-journalists in Hausa on Wednesday night, noted that the spike in infection is as a result of lack of adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures.
“We are calling on all our citizens to join us to fight Covid-19 and save lives without having a lockdown. We think there are lots of simpler things citizens and businesses can do that can help reduce the spread of the disease.’’
Malam El-Rufai said that the government expects voluntary compliance with Covid prevention protocols so that livelihoods can be pursued in safety.
‘’We are counting on the cooperation of our citizens, religious leaders, the business community, transporters and other stakeholders in a collective effort to stop Covid-19. We can do it by voluntary compliance,’’ he added.
El-Rufai also directed that as from Thursday, 17 December 2020, all residents of Kaduna state must wear facemasks when leaving their homes, adding that security agents will enforce compliance and mobile courts will try offenders.
The governor argued that mass compliance is preferable to a lockdown which will disrupt peoples means of livelihoods and inconvenience residents of the state.
He, however, warned that the government will impose a lockdown if it becomes necessary to save lives and prevent the collapse of the healthcare system.
Deputy Governor of Kaduna state, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, explained measures that residents should take in order to check the rising spread of the disease and prevent a lockdown.
Dr Balarabe noted that facemasks must cover the mouth and nose as they should not be worn on the chin as most people do, adding that ‘’ large gatherings are henceforth prohibited.’’
Speaking during the interview, she said that ‘’businesses must provide thermometers for temperature checks, and sanitizers or handwashing equipment and physical distancing measures within all facilities.
‘’Places of worship must enforce facemasks, provide sanitisers and ensure physical distancing. The number of worshippers will be capped. Congregational worship should not exceed one hour.’’
According to the Deputy Governor, transport operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50% of capacity and passengers must all be masked up
Dr Balarabe, who is the Chair of the State Covid-19 Taskforce, also said that ‘’supermarkets and providers of personal services such as hair dressing and barbing salons can remain open, but service providers and customers must use facemasks and limit crowds.’’
The Deputy Governor who is also a medical doctor, further directed that ‘’hotels can remain open, but their restaurants and bars can offer only room service. Restaurants are restricted to takeaway services only.’’
‘’Event centres, night clubs, gymnasiums and bars and lounges are to close until further notice,’’ she added.