Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai has extended the lockdown order in Kaduna State by another two weeks, the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe said in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday.
Residents of the state have been on lockdown for the past 60 days and there were calls for ease down of the restrictions to allow poor residents contend with the challenges of zero income and food shortages.
The deputy governor, however, said the government expects residents to abide by the COVID-19 prevention protocol, otherwise any spike in the cases would force the government to tight restrictions.
“The Kaduna State Government is conscious of the sacrifices that citizens have made and the many challenges that remain in keeping them safe from COVID-19.
“This is why the state government has adjusted and extended the Quarantine Orders by two weeks to empower citizens to more steadfastly carry forward the fight against COVID-19.
“Preservation of the relaxations in this extension requires that citizens demonstrate greater compliance with laid down health protocols, particularly the wearing of face masks outside the house, observance of physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap and water and the avoidance of large gatherings.
“Violation of these protocols will compel the government to reimpose restrictions.
“A spike in Covid-19 infections will also necessitate a tightening of restrictions,” she said.
Balarabe added that the lockdown-free days have been extended to cover three days with effect from June 1.
“From Monday, 1st June 2020, the revised regulations will come into effect. They give citizens a three-day window every week to shop for food and other essentials.
“Until otherwise stated, the lockdown-free days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“Temporary neighbourhood markets will continue to operate from 10am to 4pm on these three days, but citizens can move from 6am to 6pm on these lockdown-free days.
“Informal markets are not allowed and those flouting regulations by turning streets into markets are advised to stop.
“The adjusted orders also expand the ability of citizens to resume the pursuit of livelihoods in permitted sectors subject to compliance with health and safety protocols, including physical distancing.
“Private sector firms that meet these requirements will also operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
“This window also allows vulcanisers, welders, mechanics and providers of similar services to operate on the same days.”
She however reiterated that the prohibition of interstate and intercity travel remained in force.
“Government officials and mobile courts will enforce this ban to prevent people from spreading the virus through non-essential movement.
“In addition, the night time curfew that has been enforced across the state still remains, from 6pm to 6am.
“Schools, places of worship and markets will remain closed under the adjusted orders.
“The relevant government officials and agencies will be engaging with religious leaders, transport unions, traditional institutions, market unions, school proprietors and other stakeholders as may be identified from time to time, to discuss the conditions and circumstances for a safe reopening of these sectors.”
The deputy governor said that restaurants would be allowed to open “strictly to offer takeaway services.”
“However, bars, sporting venues and event centres remain closed as are hotels that have not been specifically licensed as essential service providers during this period.”
According to her, Kaduna State has so far conducted 1,900 tests and recorded a total of 189 Covid-19 cases as at May 25.
She announced plans by the government to support low income, poor and vulnerable households and residents with some food in all the 23 local government areas “as soon as possible.”