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Gombe imposes dusk-to-dawn curfew to contain COVID-19

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Inuwa Yahaya

Gombe State government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew across the entire state, from 6pm to 7am, with effect from 6pm of Thursday, 23rd April, 2020, “except for essential services that are vital for the good governance of the state.”

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya announced this during his broadcast on Wednesday in Gombe State on the confirmation of Coronavirus cases in the state.

He said, “Despite the proactive measures we took, in order to prevent the importation of the virus into our state, we are now confronted with the sad news of its emergence when we received the results of 5 positive cases from the NCDC on the 20th of April, 2020.”

According to him, “These five that tested positive, one is confirmed as a transit passenger to Borno, and has been handed over to the relevant authorities in Borno State, while the remaining four are presently receiving treatment in one of the designated centers.

The governor said, state response team has embarked on extensive contact tracing to identify, isolate and test their respective contacts in accordance with NCDC guidelines.

“All markets and business activities involving the interaction of more than 2 persons are hereby suspended. Essential food and medical supplies are, however, exempted from this order.

“All congregational activities for social, cultural and religious purposes, regardless of the number of persons participating in such events, are equally suspended,” he said.

The governor added that, “All intra-state transportation from one LGA to another is suspended, while all motor parks across the state are to be closed and all Tsangaya schools across the state are hereby closed.”

He however assured that, necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the safe return of all Almajiris from other states back to their respective states of origin, and directed security agencies to ensure compliance with the executive order.

The governor disclosed that, special compliance taskforce has been constituted to oversee the enforcement of these directives with active representation from security agencies, traditional leaders, religious leaders, the Red Cross, Boys Brigade, Hisbah, Yan-Agajis, local vigilante groups, youth groups and other volunteers under the supervision of their respective Local Government Secretaries.

He called for their maximum support and cooperation, “in order to ensure the success of this endeavour,” adding that, “In line with standard safety guidelines, the general public is hereby strongly advised to adopt the use of face masks and other preventive measures like regular hand washing with soap, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing and voluntary self-isolation. We shall also embark on widespread environmental fumigation in order to sanitize and disinfect all high-risk public areas.”

He noted that, “Our major priority is to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our people; we are mindful of the economic consequences that such measures are going to have on our part.

“Government is putting up palliative measures to cushion the economic effects of COVID-19. In this regard, we shall set up a Palliative Committee under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness the Emir of Gombe, in order to oversee the organization and distribution of relief materials to the people during this period.”

The governor called on their surveillance team to redouble their efforts so as to trace all contacts of confirmed cases and take appropriate actions as provided in the COVID-19 management guidelines, saying that, “This is the time to be more proactive and vigilant, in order to win this fight against COVID-19.

“The State Task Force on COVID-19 shall be providing regular updates through daily briefings to the residents of the state, and we shall continuously review the situation as it unfolds so as to take the necessary steps at the right time.

“It is our hope that we don’t get to the stage where we have to impose a total lockdown of the entire state. However, we shall not hesitate to do so, if it becomes necessary,” he noted.

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