Covid-19: Niger Extends Lockdown, Bans Inter, Intra State Movements

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By Laleye Dipo

The Niger State Government has extended the lockdown imposed on the state two weeks ago as one of the steps to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

This is in spite of the fact that only two positive cases of the disease have been discovered in the state in the last one month.

The state government announced the extension of the lockdown in a statement in Minna on Sunday in which it also banned inter and intra state movements.

The statement signed by the Chairman of the Covid-19 Task Force and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, also maintained that all schools will remain closed till further notice, while social activities that involve more than 20 people is also prohibited.

Matane said: “Movements within border areas remain restricted and monitored except for those on essential services. Those eligible to cross into the state will be examined and screened thoroughly by medical personnel.”

He said that while the lockdown is still in force, “however apart from those on essential services, certain critical services such as food vendors, water vendors, supermarkets, kiosk owners and farmers will be allowed to operate on the condition that they will wear mask, observe social distancing, provide hand washing facilities and other precautionary measures”.

He also restated government’s policy making wearing of masks by residents of the state compulsory, adding that: “It is for personal protection and prevents the spread of coronavirus and other related ailments.

“Every person that is coming into the public will be compelled to wear mask and violators of this directive will be prosecuted by Mobile Court”.

Matane however assured the public that “from time to time, there will be review of the application of the measures taken by government with a view to reducing hardship being experienced by people as a result of the lockdown and other precautionary measures”.