COVID 19: Another Lockdown Imminent in Niger

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By Laleye Dipo

Another lockdown seems imminent in Niger State following the decision of the state government to order all civil servants to remain at home from next Monday for fear of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government gave the stay-at-home order to all civil servants apart from those on essential duties in a circular released yesterday in the state.

The circular with reference number NG/STA/2/Vol.1/292, which was captioned ‘Stay Free From Second Wave of Coronavirus Pandemic’, was signed by the state Head of Service, Hajia Salamatu T Abubakar, and copied all Permanent Secretaries, the Chief of Staff of Government House, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Clerk of the state House of Assembly and Heads of government agencies.

The circular read: “Please refer to the subject matter above:

“I write to inform you that in view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic being experienced in the country, the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has approved that all workers in the state should stay at home with effect from December 21, 2020, until further notice except officers on essential duties.”

In the wake of the pandemic, not less than 12 people were confirmed to have died.

Also, recent statistics released by the Niger State COVID 19 Perspective indicated that only eight out of the 25 local government areas in state have not recorded any confirmed case of the virus since its outbreak in March.

The local government areas are Edati, Lavun Mashegu Munya Agwara, Katcha, Magama, and Agaie.

According to the document, Chachaga LGA has the highest confirmed cases of 96, followed by Gurara LGA with 50 cases, and Suleja 31 cases.

Lapai, Gbako, and Rijau LGAs recorded the least confirmed case of one each.

A total of 294 cases have been confirmed across the state in the last 10 months.

The latest three confirmed cases, according to the COVID-19 Perspective, were that of a 25-year-old man, 11 year-old-boy and another 17-year-old boy, all recorded in Tafa LGA.

The document appealed to the people of the state to continue to adhere to all COVID19 protocols, including physical and social distancing, wearing of face mask, washing of hands as well as sanitising the hands regularly.

It advised the public to visit the nearest general hospital for testing anytime they suspect the COVID19 symptoms.