COVID-19: Niger backtracks, declares two weeks lockdown

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Descriptive photo: streets closed in Jos, Plateau


From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State on Saturday declared a total lockdown in the state for two weeks, effective Monday.

An earlier lockdown was last weekend relaxed by the Governor, with a directive to public workers to resume.

The backtrack however became necessary after the State recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case.

The case, Governor Bello told Journalists after an emergency Executive meeting, is a resident of Limawa community in Minna who just returned from Lagos.

Health workers have been engaged to sensitize residents and quarantine the affected community, the Governor said.

Bello banned all social activities including religious gatherings, ordering regular temperature tests at strategic locations in the State during the lockdown.

The earlier relaxed lockdown, Bello regretted witnessed widespread disregard for social distancing, hand washing and other approved guidelines for the control of the virus.

This time however, government will be strict, he said.

The Governor announced plans to engage local tailors to mass-produce face masks.

He also disclosed plans to deliver reliefs to the “poorest” in the society, warning politicians against hijacking the items when ready.

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