Niger orders arrest of anyone outside without facemask

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From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Governor Sani Bello of Niger state has warned that henceforth, anyone caught outside his home without facemask will be arrested.

Though facemasks cannot fully prevent COVID-19, they reduce chances of infection, said the Governor.

“Please stay at home and if you must go out, ensure that you wear a face mask. Anyone found outside his house without a face mask will be attested by security agents. They have been mandated to enforce this directive.”

Bello said, Thursday that over 300,000 locally made facemasks were available for free distribution to citizens.

Security agents, nurses, and doctors, the Governor said are to first be supplied the masks and other protective gears given that they are “more exposed” to the virus.

Speaking about the upcoming Ramadan, Governor Bello expressed doubts over social distancing being observed in worship places.

He therefore stated that there would not be Ramadan lectures or people coming together to pray during the fasting period.

“I know Ramadan is around the corner but we can all pray in our houses. We would have held lectures or other activities done during fasting of we were sure of people maintaining social distance.

“But I doubt if social distancing can be maintained, so we are all to remain in our homes and pray there. The safety of lives is key and fundamental. Stay at home and say your prayers.”

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