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COVID-19: Kaduna to announce new steps next week, consults stakeholders on safe reopening

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COVID-19: Kaduna to announce new steps next week, consults stakeholders on safe reopening
Executive Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai.

By Ibrahim HassanWuyo

The Kaduna State Government has paid tribute to the citizens of the state for the perseverance and the dignified way many have borne the inconveniences occasioned by the enforcement of the Quarantine Order.

Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, the Deputy Governor, Kaduna State and Chair, State Taskforce on Covid-19 ,said on Thursday that the  necessity to save lives and protect their people from Covid-19 made necessary the adoption of stringent preventive measures announced back in March 2020.

She said since then, “Covid-19 infection figures have gone up, both nationally and in our state. In Kaduna State, our health officials are engaged in expanded tracing, testing and treatment of contacts of existing cases as well as persons with symptoms that fit the case definition.”

“This is to better contain the virus and ensure that infected persons have a fair chance of early detection and treatment. More testing also provides more reliable data on the actual Covid-19 status of the state.”

She explained that throughout the pendency of the Quarantine Orders, the state government had sought for ways to balance the safe pursuit of livelihoods with the imperative of protecting public health.

“That is why the lockdown has from inception been partial, to allow for the functioning of essential services and the operation of some economic sectors. In April, we also tasked a committee of senior officials to plan post-lockdown scenarios for the state. The report of this committee has since been discussed by the State Taskforce on Covid-19 and published.”

” Last week, the state government extended the Quarantine Orders by a further two weeks during which stakeholders will be consulted on the conditions for a safe re-opening of the state. Further to that commitment, the government has initiated consultations with traditional rulers, the business community, market and transport unions, proprietors of private schools and religious leaders to discuss the protocols for re-opening more segments of society and the economy. ”

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The Government, she said ,has been encouraged by the response from the stakeholders consulted.

“They engaged constructively with the discussion documents we circulated and have made very insightful and creative contributions. We thank all the leaders and patriots that participated in the consultations for their positive disposition. We are reassured that there is a constituency of responsible leaders who understand the dangers and challenges of Covid-19 and are prepared to help the state and society navigate safely through a new and often uncertain reality.”

“The recommendations and suggestions that have emerged from the consultations will help to strengthen the re-opening strategy. The draft guidelines and discussion documents shared with the stakeholders will be improved with inputs received. Clear protocols and guidelines for the reopening of approved sectors will be published before the current Quarantine Order expires on Tuesday, 9th June 2020. This will spell out what is required and the measures to be taken in the economic and social sectors that will reopen.”

“The Kaduna State Government appeals to all citizens to patiently await the publication of these guidelines in a few days and a formal announcement on the re-opening of permitted sectors. Citizens should avoid precipitate and illegal action. Having endured so much already, it is only prudent to allow the sacrifices that have been made to be followed by a safe and responsible reopening that builds on the suggestions and recommendations of stakeholders and the health protocols of our Ministry of Health.”

“Therefore, markets, places of worship, schools and other facilities whose operations are prohibited under the Quarantine Order remain shut until the approved protocols are announced next week. Citizens should note that congregational worship is not yet permitted. Religious leaders are aware of this fact, and we expect everyone to live up to their obligations and avoid needless, illegal activity.”

“Let us all continue to do our duty for peace, safety and orderly conduct in the state. Let us continue to wear facemasks when outdoors, observe physical distancing, wash hands regularly with soap and water and avoid large gatherings and crowded places. Let us move FORWARD and take personal responsibility to defeat Covid-19,” she said.

Vanguard

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