Wearing of Masks in Public Places Now Compulsory in Niger

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State Government thursday declared that wearing of masks in public places in the state had become compulsory so as to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Governor Abubakar Bello, who made the declaration in Minna, said the enforcement was to further enhance other preventive measures put in place against the spread of COVID19 pandemic.

Bello directed all local government Chairmen in the state to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines.

“By this declaration today, public wearing of face masks and observation of social distancing are mandatory acts for all residents.

“These are aimed at controlling the spread of the virus and other related diseases in the state,” he said.

The governor disclosed that in bid to tackle the scourge, government had signed two orders – the Niger State Covid-19 Prevention Containment and the Emergency Order to Curtail Movement of People.

He said that the Mobile Courts earlier set up in the state had convicted 50 persons for violating the stay-at-home order, adding that government had also turned back some travellers from other states.

Bello noted that lockdown was still on course in the state, and appeal to traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders to sensitise their followers on the dangers of coronavirus pandemic.

The governor urged them to also ensure that the people strictly adhered to all the preventive measures.

He said those on essential services, food and water vendors, as well as shop, supermarket, pharmaceutical store operators and farmers, would be allowed to operate under strict adherence to physical distancing.

“Government will continue to study the situation with a view to putting in place practicable guidelines to review the 24-hour lockdown.

“This is to ensure that critical economic activities pick up to reduce the difficulties being faced by residents as a result of the lockdown,” he said.