Coronavirus: Katsina Shuts down Land Borders

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  • Suspends Friday, Sunday religious activities

By Francis Sardauna

The Katsina State Government has ordered the closure of land borders and routes linking the state to other parts of the country with effect from Saturday, March 28, 2020 to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The government also suspended the weekly Friday prayers by Muslims and Sunday service for Christians and other social gathering such as weddings and political events across the state.

The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Home Affairs, Mr. Abdulkarim Yahaya Sirika, disclosed this in a statement issued to journalists on Friday.

He explained that movements in and out of the state are banned beginning from 6:00 am on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

He therefore urged residents to minimise all gatherings in view of the warning by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in order to tackle the spread of the dreaded pandemic.

Sirika said: “In continuation with its efforts to contain the possible spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state, His Excellency, the Governor of Katsina State, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, has directed the closure of all borders with neighbouring states and Niger Republic.

“To this effect therefore, movement of people into the state is strictly prohibited with effect from 6:00am on Saturday, 28th March, 2020.

“However, fuel tankers and vehicles carrying food items and other essential commodities will be allowed into the state subject to their screening and test at the point of entry. Meanwhile people are at liberty to move within the state.”

The commissioner urged the people of the state to comply strictly and continue to pray for God’s intervention against the pandemic in the state and the country in general.

In a related development, the state government has directed all civil servants in the state to stay at home till further directive.

The sit-at-home order, which commenced Friday, however does not affect workers providing emergency and essential services in hospitals, fire services, media houses and water board.

The state Head of Service, Idris Usman Tune, who issued the order in a statement, said government would monitor the situation up to March 29 and will issue further instructions.

He said: “While appealing for cooperation of workers in the state, the government is looking forward to total compliance with the sit at home order.”