By John Shiklam
The Kaduna State Government has banned the operations of motorcycles, taxis and tricycles in the state, saying they do not satisfy the conditions for social distancing.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, who announced the ban in a state broadcast on Wednesday, said the decision was taken after Governor Nasir el-Rufai met with senior government officials to review the level of compliance with the measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.
She however said commercial buses are allowed to operate, but must comply with the new rule of not more than two passengers per row.
She said government will suspend all forms of pubic transportation if circumstances compel it to do so.
She said the state government “will today (Wednesday) be taking steps to stop the Abuja-Kaduna train service which needs to be suspended for a few weeks”.
According to the deputy governor, the government has directed all utility vehicles that have been assigned to officials to be recalled in order “to enhance the state’s capacity for rapid response and contact tracing, monitoring and supervision of surveillance activities should any positive case be identified’’.
‘’The vehicles should be parked in the yard of the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure. Drivers of the utility vehicles should also report to the Commissioner of Public Works to submit their contact details,’’ she directed.
According to Dr. Balarabe, “Payment of salaries for March 2020 has commenced and advised everyone to be financially prudent, given the tough times that lie ahead.
‘’The state government is committed to getting food and necessities across to identified vulnerable groups should a lockdown become inevitable.
‘’The required supplies are being procured while a system of distribution to the persons that most need them is being worked out.”
She said the state government will continue enlightenment campaigns in the media to help people stay safe and save lives.
Balarabe reiterated the ban on large gatherings, the closure of markets, with the exception of traders in food, medicines and essential items, including the need for people to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.
‘’Government recognises that compliance with these measures come with a level of inconvenience for which we readily apologise. But we trust that everyone understands the necessity for these sacrifices as the most pragmatic way to keep people safe and alive,’’ she added.