By Rita Iliya
Niger Government has announced a 24-hour curfew for the period of two weeks starting from April 13 as part of measures to further prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger made the announcement during a news conference, shortly after a joint Emergency Council and State Task Force on COVID19 meeting at the Government House in Minna on Saturday.
He explained that the emergency meeting was to address the recent challenge arising from the recorded case of COVID19 in Limawa area of Minna.
Bello said that as a responsible government to contain the escalation of the virus, the following decisions were reached such as “a complete lockdown of the state for a period of two weeks starting from April 13’’.
He said that a window had been created to allow people to replenish household essentials between April 16, April 20, April 23 and April 27.
“This period is not for social activities or religious gathering, Its to allow people to purchase food and necessary items to make them comfortable in their various homes.
“It is a window that is not be abused or used for naming, wedding or any social gatherings. We are concerned about the hardship of people but, however, it has become necessary in view of the recent positive case recorded in Minna” he said.
Bello added that all congregation including religious activities in public places had been suspended.
He noted that all prayers should be conducted at home and maintain social distancing as violators of the law would be prosecuted.
He also announced the ban on interstate and intrastate movement, saying that all civil servants except those on essential services, are to operate from home.
The governor noted that all borders would remained closed as occupants of vehicles on essential services would be tested at all entry points.
Bello said that Limawa community would be put on complete isolation to enable health workers conduct sensitisation on the spread of the virus.
“We are focusing on Limawa because the first case was recorded there, where a man who returned from a journey was not allowed into the house by his family who immediately reported to the authority and he was taken to the isolation centre and where he tested positive.
“We are tracking down people he must have come in contact with so that we can put them on isolation as well as his family members,” he added.
The governor, however, directed all political appointees to go to their council areas to support the task support team.
He urged the general public to use mask and ensure personal hygiene.
Bello appealed to the citizens to cooperate with government and respect the decisions put forward to prevent the spread of the virus.