Kaduna State Government has directed all civil servants from Grade Level 12 and below, to remain at home for the next 30 days, effective from Tuesday.
Governr Nasir El-Rufai, who made this known in a state broadcast on Monday, said that the directive became necessary to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
The governor however said that workers providing essential services, workers in the health, security and emergency service sectors, are exempted from this directive.
Mr El-Rufai, who decried the flouting of government’s directive against large gatherings, however expressed gratitude to those religious leaders who complied with the directive.
He said government “received reports of congregations in some churches and mosques, as well as large crowds in weddings and other social activities.
“Over the weekend, we also sadly observed shocking levels of complacency as some people ignored their responsibility to uphold preventive measures,’’ he said.
He said that government has now decided to move from advice to actual enforcement of its restrictions on large gatherings, especially in churches and mosques.
According to him, “security agencies have been directed to ensure compliance across the state.
“These agencies will also enforce compliance with the decision to close all schools, whether public or private, religious or secular, Islamiya or run by Christian missions.”
El Rufai warned that “the state government will not hesitate to impose a state wide curfew, should that become the only way to enforce compliance and make everyone understand the collective danger that we face.”
He also directed that markets would remain partially open as “only traders selling food and medicines are permitted to open their shops, effective from Tuesday, 24th March 2020.’’
“This directive will be vigorously enforced by the security agencies and the Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company which will also ensure that all markets are fumigated,’’ he added.
The governor said that he will not hesitate to impose a lockdown of the entire state, if events dictate, adding that “this will be done with every effort to take care of the poor and vulnerable.”
The governor however reiterated that no case of Covid-19 has been reported in the State so far but “the government has a duty to work with all our leaders and residents of our state to jointly ensure that everything is done to reduce the chance of the disease taking root and spreading in the state.”
According to him, “it is better to impose restrictions and save lives, than to be complacent and bury victims.
“Countries that have hesitated to impose extraordinary measures to contain coronavirus are now regretting.
“We have a chance to avoid such mistakes.”
The governor further directed people to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
He advised residents to postpone every trip until this pandemic is curtailed, arguing that “only those who are alive can travel.”
“To this end, we have contacted the relevant federal authorities to stop the Abuja-Kaduna train service and thus limit the danger from contact on the train and influx from people who might have been exposed to infected persons,” he added.
Mr El Rufai also urged all residents who recently returned from travel overseas to self-isolate for 14 days.
“Any symptoms of cough, fever or difficulty in breathing should be reported to the following numbers: 08025088304, 08032401473, 08035871662 and 08037808191,” he said.