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COVID-19: Gov Bello confirms first case of Coronavirus, orders total lockdown

Following the confirmation of the first case of Covid-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus in Niger State, the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, on Saturday, April 11, has directed the complete lockdown of the state for 24 hours for the next two weeks.

The lockdown starts from April 13, 2020 in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This is against the backdrop of the announcement of a confirmed case of the deadly Coronavirus in Minna, the state capital.

The government, however, gave a window period to allow people restock their homes with essentials, on the following days, Thursday 16th April, Monday 20th April, Thursday 23rd April and Monday 27th April, 2020 from 6AM to 6PM, adding that the window is not for social or religious activities as anyone caught flouting the order will face the wrath of the law.

Bello, in an address to Nigerlites, explained,” the decisive action became necessary in order to endure the pains of today and avoid the consequential damage of tomorrow.”

He told the people that the confirmed Covid-19 case is one Abubakar Sani from Limawa area of Minna, that travelled and returned home two weeks ago.

” He didn’t get access to his family on return but has endangered those he travelled with in the same vehicle as well as other neighbours,” the governor stated.

Bello stated further that to ensure the safety of the people of victims’ area, directed that the entire Limawa area in Minna be quarantined while security men should patrol the streets of Minna extensively.

” It is time for collective action, rather than sentiments, against the pandemic, if the situation gets worse, the state do not have enough manpower, resources or technical knowhow to curtail the spread.”

The Governor directed all political appointees to return to their local government areas to coordinate and monitor activities.

”And, most importantly, carry out sensitization and report back to the state government at the centre.

The lockdown does not affect those on special duties and essential services especially those that carry food and pharmaceuticals as well as Vigilantes.”

According to him, “in case of any casualty, only the NSTA vehicles will be available or deployed for emergency services as all parks are expected to remain closed.”

He also ordered the taskforce committee on COVID-19 to provide palliatives to those that are in dire need as well as provide reflective jackets for the taskforce on essential service to be distributed to all the Local Government Areas and other members.

The governor then thanked all those who have donated to the government towards ameliorating the sufferings of the people.

Meanwhile, the state Ministry of Health has set up additional isolation centres to tackle cases that may come up while the only confirmed case is already isolated and being taken care of.

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Abdullahi Hammed

Abdullahi Hammed was born in Kano State, Nigeria. A journalist by profession for the past five years. He Studied Mass Communication at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State. Contact: [email protected]

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