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Coronavirus: Kwara govt imposes total shutdown on state


Kwara Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State

The Kwara State Government on Thursday announced a total lockdown on the state in a renewed effort to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), exactly 48 hours after it took a similar step in Offa local government.

The government said violators of the pronouncement may face prosecution in line with the state regulations on the pandemic — except vehicles carrying goods and services such as food and drugs and categories earlier exempted in a recent address by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The administration also commended Abuja and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their technical supports, including recently helping to strengthen government’s response team and training of its LGA disease surveillance and notification officers (DSNOs) on COVID-19 preparedness, response and surveillance.

The government, however, said a total lockdown was necessary to flatten the curve of transmission at this time.

“The government hereby bans all vehicular movements, including private and commercial vehicles, from 6 p.m. tomorrow, Friday 10 April, 2020,” Kayode Alabi, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Technical Committee on COVID-19, told a news briefing in Ilorin, the state capital.

“The only exceptions are commercial trucks carrying goods and services who would operate with absolute respect for social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols. All kinds of shops, bars, pubs, and markets are hereby shut until further notice. Markets where foods and medications are sold will open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, between 10 a.m. and 2p.m.

“Contractors working on government projects are allowed to proceed to work with no more than 20 workers on site at one time.”

The total lockdown is for initial 14 days and may be reviewed as government monitors the situation, he added.

He said previous restrictions remain and would be enforced.

Commending the federal government and the WHO, Mr Alabi said the NCDC has sent down a crack team of experts to strengthen its capabilities to combat the spread of the virus.


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