Gombe Announces Stiffer Measures Against CoronaVirus, Declares Curfew, Suspends Commercial, Religious Activities

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Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya (left) observing social distancing at a function.

By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

Following the recording of four positive cases of the deadly CoronaVirus pandemic in the state, Gombe Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Ÿahaya has signed and executive order, which among several measures, imposed a dusk to dawn curfew across the state.

This was announced during a statewide broadcast by him on Wednesday April 22, 2020, in which he also made the wearing of Facemasks mandatory.

“That a dusk to dawn curfew across the entire State from 6PM to 7AM with effect from 6PM of Thursday 23rd April, 2020 will be imposed, except for essential services that are vital for the good governance of the state.

“All markets and business activities involving the interaction of more than 2 persons are hereby suspended. Essential food and medical supplies are however exempted from this order; 

“All congregational activities for social, cultural and religious purposes regardless of the number of persons participating in such events are equally suspended.

“All Intra-state transportation from one LGA to another is suspended. Consequently, all motor parks across the State are closed,” he said.

Similarly, the governor announced the closing down of all Almajiri schools across the state.

“All Tsangaya schools across the State are hereby closed. Necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the safe return of all Almajiris from other states back to their respective states of origin,” he said.

Governor Ÿahaya said that accordingly, security agencies are  directed to ensiure compliance with the executive order.

Read the full text of the broadcast below:
TEXT OF A STATE BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU INUWA YAHAYA, THE GOVERNOR OF GOMBE STATE ON THE CONFIRMATION OF COVID-19 CASES IN GOMBE STATE ON WEDNESDAY, 22nd APRIL 2020.
My fellow residents of Gombe State.

It is with immense gratitude to Allah (SWT) that I address you once again on the Coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging our country and the entire world. In fact, as at 11:25 PM of 21st April, 2020, the NCDC has confirmed a total of 782 persons that have tested positive in 25 States and the FCT.

Despite the proactive measures we took in order to prevent the importation of the virus into our state, we are now confronted with the sad news of its emergence when we received the results of 5 positive cases from the NCDC on the 20th of April, 2020.

Of these five that tested positive, one is confirmed as a transit passenger to Borno. He has been handed over to the relevant authorities in Borno State, while the remaining four are presently receiving treatment in one of the designated centers. The state response team has embarked on extensive contact tracing to identify, isolate and test their respective contacts in accordance with NCDC guidelines.

In addition to the measures earlier taken as a concerned government that is committed to containing the spread of COVID-19 in Gombe State and after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, I hereby issue an Executive Order imposing the following: I. That a dusk to dawn curfew across the entire State from 6PM to 7AM with effect from 6PM of Thursday 23rd April, 2020 will be imposed, except for essential services that are vital for the good governance of the State.II. All markets and business activities involving the interaction of more than 2 persons are hereby suspended. Essential food and medical supplies are however exempted from this order; III. All congregational activities for social, cultural and religious purposes regardless of the number of persons participating in such events are equally suspended.IV. All Intra-state transportation from one LGA to another is suspended. Consequently, all motor parks across the State are closed.V. All Tsangaya schools across the State are hereby closed. Necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the safe return of all Almajiris from other states back to their respective states of origin.VI. Accordingly, security agencies are hereby directed to ensiure compliance with the executive order.
6. A special compliance taskforce has been constituted to oversee the enforcement of these directives with active representation from security agencies, traditional leaders, religious leaders, the Red Cross, Boys Brigade, Hisbah, Yan-Agajis, local vigilante groups, youth groups and other volunteers under the supervision of their respective Local Government Secretaries. I therefore call for your maximum support and cooperation in order to ensure the success of this endeavour. 7. In line with standard safety guidelines, the general public is hereby strongly advised to adopt the use of face masks and other preventive measures like regular hand washing with soap, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing and voluntary self-isolation. We shall also embark on widespread environmental fumigation in order to   sanitize and disinfect all high-risk public areas.8. Our major priority is to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our people. We are mindful of the economic consequences that such measures are going to have. On our part, Government is putting up palliative measures to cushion the economic effects of Covid-19. In this regard, we shall set up a Palliative Committee under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness the Emir of Gombe in order to oversee the organization and distribution of relief materials to the people during this period.9. I will also call on our surveillance team to redouble their efforts so as to trace all contacts of confirmed cases and take appropriate actions as provided in the Covid-19 management guidelines. This is the time to be more proactive and vigilant in order to win this fight against Covid-19. 10. The State Task force on Covid-19 shall be providing regular updates through daily briefings to the residents of the state. We shall continuously review the situation as it unfolds so as to take the necessary steps at the right time. It is our hope that we don’t get to the stage where we have to impose a total lockdown of the entire State. However, we shall not hesitate to do so if it becomes necessary.11. Let me use this opportunity to once again appreciate the incredible work of the State Task Force on Covid-19, our frontline health workers and volunteers for their commitment and sacrifice in this difficult period.  On behalf of the people of Gombe State, I say a big Thank you to you all!
12. The support we received from our traditional rulers, religious and community leaders, public-spirited individuals and organizations, the media and civil society organisations has been remarkable so far. Your continuous cooperation and support in this fight is even more crucial now. The battle against this pandemic is a collective responsibility that must be won.
13. Thank you all and please stay at home and be safe. 
God bless Gombe State!God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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