The Ogun, Taraba, Abia, Imo and Bayelsa state governments have shut their borders as the COVID-19 continue to ravage states across the country
The Ogun State government announced the closure of the borders with the neighbouring states and the international border with the Republic of Benin.
The government, which said this on Saturday, explained that the closure would take effect at 12 midnight on Sunday, March 29, 2020.
The government in a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, said the closure would be in force for two weeks in the first instance.”
Abia State Government also announced that there would be a total lockdown of the state from April 1, 2020.
According to the state government, the lockdown will include inter-state movements.
It added that “this will last for an initial period of four weeks, subject to weekly reviews.”
The state Commissioner for Information, John Kalu, in a statement on Saturday, urged everybody to stay indoors.
Also, Taraba State Governor, Mr Darius Ishaku, on Saturday banned travels in and out of the state with effect from Sunday, March 29, 2020.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Hassan Mijinyawa, the governor said the decision to close the state’s land borders was part of efforts to prevent coronavirus spread.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has ordered a complete lockdown of the state with effect from Saturday as part of the government’s further measures to prevent the dreaded coronavirus from entering the state.
In a state-wide broadcast to the people on Saturday, Uzodimma ordered the closure of all markets indefinitely and prohibited all forms of marriages.
Bayelsa State Government has announced more measures to check the coronavirus pandemic, imposing a travel restriction from 7pm to 7am with effect from Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory enforcement team on Saturday disrupted a wedding reception at Police Quarters at Wuse Zone 6 in Abuja.
It was learnt that the enforcement team, acting on a tip-off, stormed the venue and “dispersed” the hosts and guests numbering about 300 for violating the ban on public gathering.
The bride and groom were just about arriving when the team got to the scene which was located at a residential neighbourhood.
The FCT Administration had announced the development via its Twitter handle.
“The FCT Enforcement Team which includes security & law enforcement agents has shut down a wedding ceremony happening at Wuse Zone 6.”
Speaking with one of our correspondents on the development, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications to the FCT Minister, Abubakar Sani, explained that no arrest was made.
In Cross River State, the Government has threatened to shut down any church that flouts the order not to open for service on Sunday if its congregation is more than five persons.
According to a statement by Fr Bob Etta, the Senior Special Adviser on Religious Matters to Governor Ben Ayade, a task force will be going round the state to monitor compliance.
While two Muslim clerics were on Saturday arrested for violating the curfew imposed by the Kaduna State Government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 popularly called coronavirus in the state.
The two clerics were caught while conducting Friday congregational prayers in Malali and Ungwan Kanawa areas, all in the Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, said this while addressing journalists on Saturday.
But hope rose in Rivers State as the State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has promised that the state government will consider palliatives in the next phase of intervention against the coronavirus pandemic.
Wike made this promise on Saturday in Port Harcourt when he led members of the state Task Force on Enforcement of the Ban on Public and Religious Gatherings to monitor compliance with the directive of the state government on the closure of markets in the state.
*Shuts down all educational institutions in the state
*Directs all public officers/civil servants to work from their homes except health workers, Forest Guards, Neighbourhood Watch personnel, Water Corporation staff, Waste Management operatives, staff of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency, Fire Fighters and all those involved in other essential services.
*Suspends all cultural and social gatherings including marriage ceremonies, burial ceremonies, masquerade festivals, drinking bars, night clubs and all group sporting and recreational activities.
*Says that social distancing protocol as advised by Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) should be observed during public religious worship as well as in restaurants and eateries.
*Directs all Local Government Council Chairmen to mobilise their Environmental and Community Health Workers to sustain the ongoing public enlightenment on protocol for prevention of Coronavirus disease transmission in our markets and parks.
*States that all public transport operators in the state are to observe the following rules on passenger conveyance in each instance: (a) Keke – not more than two passengers (b) Commuter buses – not more that two passengers per seat (c) City Cab – not more than three passengers.
*Advises all public places to observe high level of hygiene by use of sanitizers and frequent hand washing as earlier advised by Enugu State Ministry of Health.
* Directs the law enforcement agencies in the state to enforce strict compliance with the above mentioned safety measures.
While noting that “this is a trying time in our world, nation and state”, Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed that the state government in the past weeks has taken proactive safety measures to contain the Coronavirus disease pandemic, through the realease of N330 million for strengthening the Coronavirus disease pandemic; strengthening of the State Emergency Operations Centre led by the State Ministry of Health; establishment of a Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team comprising representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies including local and international partners such as Nigeria Center for Disease Control, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Full text of the address below…
SPECIAL ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF ENUGU STATE ON MEASURES TAKEN BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS DISEASE (COVID 19) PANDEMIC
My good people of Enugu State, good afternoon.
This is a trying time in our World, Nation and State. In the wake of the Corona Virus Disease pandemic, a lot has happened.
Nations in the world have taken stern steps to contain this ravaging public health challenge. Our Nation, Nigeria, is not an exception.
We salute the leadership and courage of Mr. President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the National Presidential Task Force on Corona Virus Disease in dealing with this global emergency in Nigeria.
In Enugu State, consistent with our commitment to provision of healthcare and preservation of the sanctity of human life, we have in the past weeks taken proactive safety measures to contain the Corona Virus Disease pandemic.
These measures include the following:
Strengthening the State Emergency Operations Centre led by the State Ministry of Health.
The establishment of a Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team comprising representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies including local and international partners such as Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organization (WHO) , United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The release of N330,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Thirty Million Naira) only, for strengthening the Corona Virus Disease Preparedness and Response. Out of this sum, N150,000,000.00(one hundred and fifty million naira) only, is dedicated to purchase of additional Ambulances and Incident vehicles; Personal Protective Equipment; upgrade of State Infectious Diseases Isolation Centre; training of Health Workers; advocacy and public enlightenment. The sum of N80,000,000.00 (Eighty Million Naira) only, is for restocking of the State Drug Revolving Scheme while the remaining N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) only, is provisioned for unforeseen public health challenges.
In view of the escalating threat of the Corona Virus Disease pandemic, I, in consultation with the State Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team, Security Agencies and other relevant stakeholders now order the following additional safety measures with immediate effect:
Closure of all educational institutions in the State.
All Public Officers/Civil Servants to work from home till further notice except the following:
Neighborhood Watch Personnel;
Water Corporation staff;
Waste management operatives;
Staff of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency;
Fire fighters; and
All those involved in other essential services.
Suspension of all cultural and social gatherings including the following:
Night Clubs; and
all group Sporting and Recreational activities.
The Social distancing protocol as advised by Nigerian Center for Disease Control should be observed during public religious worship as well as in Restaurants and Eateries.
All local Government Council Chairmen are hereby directed to mobilise their Environmental and Community Health Workers to sustain the ongoing public enlightenment on protocol for prevention of Corona Virus Disease transmission in our markets and Parks.
All public transport operators in the state are to observe the following rules on passenger conveyance in each instance:
Keke – not more than two (2) passengers.
Commuter Buses – not more than two (2) passengers per seat
City Cab – not more than 3 passengers.
7. All public places to observe high level of hygiene by use of sanitizers and frequent hand washing as earlier advised by Enugu State Ministry of Health.
8. The law enforcement Agencies in the State have been directed to enforce strict compliance with the above stated measures.
Residents are advised to make provisions for basic needs while we await further advice from the State Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team. Government will continue to update our people as the need arises.
I commend the efforts of our Health Care Providers for their commitment and dedication to duty as well as resilience in this challenging time.
Ndi Enugu, while I regret the inconveniences that the above measures will inevitably occasion for our people, I enjoin everyone to make these necessary sacrifices to protect ourselves and the future of our world. It is my conviction that the abiding Grace of the most merciful God will see us through this time.
Enugu State is in the Hands of God, and in all we do, we give God due Glory, Honour and Adoration.
Thank you and God bless.
Rt. Hon. IfeanyiUgwuanyi
Governor, Enugu State
Nigeria now has 10 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the nation’s health minister confirmed on Saturday.
This brings the total number of cases in the country to 22.
“Nigeria has recorded 10 new cases of #COVID19 in Lagos and FCT,” the Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said in a tweet. “That is a total of 22 cases in Nigeria.”
According to the minister, Lagos has 16 cases, while the FCT has three cases.
Ogun state and Ekiti also have two and one cases respectively.
“Two have been discharged,” the Minister said. “All cases are clinically stable and receiving adequate care.”
All ten new cases are Nigerian nationals and nine of them have a travel history to Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the Minister said.
The 10th case is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.
The three cases in Abuja are being treated at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, while the seven new cases in Lagos are being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba.
“All ten new cases have mild to moderate symptoms and are currently receiving treatment,” Dr Ehanire said.
The Minister said contact tracing is ongoing to identify all persons who have been in contact with the confirmed cases.
The Ministry of Health has also heightened screening of all air, land and sea points of entry into Nigeria, Dr Ehanire said.
The Minister reiterated, to the public, the importance of social distancing and other necessary precautions, such as frequent hand-washing.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said all international flights into the country should be restricted to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, in a letter to airline operators, dated March 19, said the directive was as a result of the Federal Government’s travel ban on 13 countries.
Nuhu said the directive would take effect from 12am on Saturday, March 21.
According to him, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, would be closed to all international flights.
The DG also stated that all persons arriving in Nigeria who might have visited the countries affected by the travel ban 15 days prior to arrival, would be subjected to supervised self-quarantine and testing for 14 days.
He said, “The travel restriction is applicable to all flight crew from the affected countries.
“All operators wishing to operate into Nigeria are required to operate with two sets of flight crew; one set to operate into Nigeria and one set to operate out of Nigeria.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the police and other security agencies to arrest people gathering in large number in violation of government’s order.
The government had banned large religious gathering in excess of 50 across the state due to the raging Coronavirus pandemic.
Sanwo-Olu on Friday in a state-wide broadcast in Marina, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria extended the ban on large gathering in excess of 50 to social clubs, night clubs, event centres, among others.
Sanwo-Olu said following the resolution by government and religious leaders to stop large social gatherings, law enforcement officers had been ordered to disperse large gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Governor directed all tertiary institutions in the State to abide by an earlier directive to shut down all public and private schools immediately, and also appealed to operators of bars, night clubs and similar public places to follow the advisory on social distancing.
He said that social distancing remained the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the State.
He added that operators of high capacity buses would be directed to carry only their maximum sitting capacity of 47 passengers and appealed to residents to desist from sharing fake news, and misinformation as this may cause panic.
The Governor also appealed to Lagosians to stop panic-buying of the Chloroquine drug, foodstuff, and other household items.
Sanwo-Olu also confirmed that cases of COVID-19 were eleven in Lagos State, but clarified that the patient infected by the Index patient was free of the virus and had been discharged, while the Index patient himself was now negative and would be discharged any moment from now.
Following reports of people being treated for Chloroquine poisoning in some Lagos hospitals, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi appealed to members of the public to desist from self-medication as no test has certified the drug as a cure for COVID-19.
Hundreds of Catholics in Anambra State on Sunday, shutdown Awka, the state capital in a march against what they called extreme insecurity, abductions and killings in Nigeria.
Led by the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, they condemned the “brutal killing of innocent Nigerians and the high level of insecurity in the country.” They also called for the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, security agencies and the international organisations to halt continued violence in the country.
The march, which started from the Alex Ekwueme Square, terminated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, along Arthur Eze Avenue. The protesters, who recited the Holy Rosary as they marched, also sang songs expressing their demand for a safer, saner society.
Bishop Ezeokafor said: “We are protesting against the brutal killing of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram and terrorist herdsmen. We are gathered to mourn the women, children, babies and men, who have been killed by the terrorists. We are particularly worried about how the terrorists target, abduct and kill seminarians and priests.”
He lamented the poor response of the Federal Government to the attacks on defenceless people by Boko Haram; referring to it as “far below average.”
He added: “We are gathered to let the Federal Government of Nigeria know that we are tired of hearing from them that Boko Haram has been ‘technically defeated’ even when they still attack with impunity. The failure to protect innocent people from relentless attacks is evil. The lack of prosecution of terrorists is evil. The other day, we heard that the military had released hundreds of Boko Haram suspects. We also heard some time ago that FG is planning amnesty for Boko Haram suspects, who have ravaged Nigeria! The continued silence of the FG is breeding and sowing seeds of mistrust.