By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has appealed to all citizens to patiently await the publication of the guidelines that will spell out how the lockdown will be eased, in order to open more segments of the society and economy.
In a statement signed by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe on Thursday, the government promised that the publication of the guidelines will be followed by ‘’a formal announcement on the re-opening of permitted sectors.’’
The statement recalled that last week, ‘’the state government extended the Quarantine Orders by a further two weeks during which stakeholders will be consulted on the conditions for a safe re-opening of the state.’’
‘’ Further to that commitment, the government has initiated consultations with traditional rulers, the business community, market and transport unions, proprietors of private schools and religious leaders to discuss the protocols for re-opening more segments of society and the economy,’’ she said.
Dr Balarabe further said that ‘’clear protocols and guidelines for the reopening of approved sectors will be published before the current Quarantine Order expires on Tuesday, 9th June 2020. This will spell out what is required and the measures to be taken in the economic and social sectors that will reopen.’’
The Deputy Governor also reiterated that ‘’ markets, places of worship, schools and other facilities whose operations are prohibited under the Quarantine Order, remain shut until the approved protocols are announced next week.
‘’ Citizens should note that congregational worship is not yet permitted. Religious leaders are aware of this fact, and we expect everyone to live up to their obligations and avoid needless, illegal activity,’’ she added.
Dr Balarabe who is also the Chair of the State Task Force on COVID-19, said that government has consulted widely with stakeholders and the administration is assured that ‘’there is a constituency of responsible leaders who understand the dangers and challenges of Covid-19 and are prepared to help the state and society navigate safely through a new and often uncertain reality.’’
According to her, ‘’the recommendations and suggestions that have emerged from the consultations will help to strengthen the re-opening strategy. The draft guidelines and discussion documents shared with the stakeholders will be improved with inputs received.’’
The statement which advised citizens to avoid precipitate and illegal action, pointed out that the people have endured so much already, adding that ‘’ it is only prudent to allow the sacrifices that have been made to be followed by a safe and responsible reopening that builds on the suggestions and recommendations of stakeholders and the health protocols of our Ministry of Health.”
Dr Balarabe paid tribute to the citizens of the state for their ‘’ perseverance and the dignified way many have borne the inconveniences occasioned by the enforcement of the Quarantine Order.’’
The Deputy Governor argued that the ‘’ necessity to save lives and protect our people from Covid-19 made necessary the adoption of stringent preventive measures announced back in March 2020.’’
The Chair of the State Task Force on COVID-19 recalled that the state government has sought for ways to balance the safe pursuit of livelihoods with the imperative of protecting public health since the Quarantine Order was invoked.
‘’That is why the lockdown has from inception been partial, to allow for the functioning of essential services and the operation of some economic sectors,’’ she reminded.
‘’ In April, we also tasked a committee of senior officials to plan post-lockdown scenarios for the state.
The report of this committee has since been discussed by the State Taskforce on Covid-19 and published,’’ she added