14-day total lockdown in Niger state commences on Monday—- Gov

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Barely 24 hours after the first case of Corona Virus was discovered in Niger state, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has ordered a total lockdown for the next two weeks, starting from Monday.

Bello announced this while addressing residents of the state after an emergency State Executive Council (SEC) on Saturday.

The decision to close all entry and exit points into the state, he said was to forestall possible spread of the virus across the state and beyond.

He said :“Today, we have confirmed the first Corona Virus in Niger state, locking down the state has become inevitable, in doing so, we all must endure the pains of today in order to avoid the consequential damages of tomorrow.”

While the lockdown continues, Bello said a window had been created to allow Nigerlites replenish household essentials on the following days: Thursday 16th, Monday 20th, Thursday 23rd and Monday April 27th, 2020 from 6am to 6pm.

The Governor, however, warned that the window was not for any form of social or religious activities but strictly for people to stock their homes with essentials to take them for the remaining days of the lockdown.

“Any one caught flaunting the order will face the wrath of the law,” he warned.

The Governor explained that the hard stance by the state government became inevitable because only enduring the pains today will save damage to tomorrows.

“We have confirmed Covid-19 case, he is one Abubakar Sani from Limawa, who travelled and returned Minna two weeks ago. He didn’t get access to his family immediately on return but has endangered those he travelled with in the same vehicle as well as their neighbours.”

To forestall the spread of the deadly disease, Governor Bello directed that the entire Limawa area be quarantined while patrol by health personnels and security operatives within the streets of Minna should be extensively carried out.

The Governor who preached collective action rather than being sentimental about the pandemic added that, “If the situation gets worse, Niger state does not have enough manpower, resources or technical knowhow to curtail the spread.”

Bello further directed that for the time being, all political appointees should immediately go back to their local government areas to coordinate and monitor activities therein and most importantly, carry out sensitization and report back to him.

He said that the lockdown did not affect those on special duties and essential services, especially those vested with the responsibility of carrying food, pharmaceuticals and other essentials as well as vigilante groups.

In case of any casualty recorded during the two weeks lockdown, only the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) vehicles will be available or deployed to relevant spots for emergency services while all the motor parks across the state remain closed.

He also directed the committee on Covid-19 to provide palliatives to those that were in dire need and also provide reflective jackets for the taskforce on essential service to be distributed to all the Local Government Areas and other members.

Bello expressed appreciaton to all the private and corporate organizations who donated generously toward the cause of checking the spread of corona virus or toward ameliorating the pains of the less priviledged people in the state.

Meanwhile, Niger State Ministry of Health has set up additional isolation centres to attend to possible cases that may come along the way while the only confirmed case, Abubarkar, is already isolated and being taken care of.

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