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COVID-19: Borno Suspends Lockdown With Stringent Measures

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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The Chairman of Borno State High Powered Response Committee on Prevention and Control of COVID-19 who is also the State Deputy Govenror, Hon. Usman Umar Kadafur has said that the state government decided to suspend the three weeks old lockdown order in the state but with stringent measures to be adopted by both the government and people.

He also commended the people of the state for their support and cooperation during th lockdown order while appealing to the State Association of Ulamas and CAN to ensure strict compliance with the face masks wearing and maintenance of social distancing in mosques and churches during worships.

The Deputy Govenror stated this in a press statement he issued and signed in Wednesday night in Maiduguri prior to the expiration of the three weeks lockdown order by 10.30 pm Wednesday night.

The statement further warned tricycle riders and other public transport or commercials shuttling the metropolis to adhere strictly to the establsihed rules and guidelines of wearing face masks and observing social distancing, noting that, anybody found breaching the rules will be penalized or made to face the wrath of the law .

It also warned that all hotels and alcohol joints are still closed and the law on liquor will be applied to any defaulter while stressing that, the existing restrictions on essential vehicles at entry and exit points still stands, pointing out that, anybody found violating the rules will be dealt with accordingly.

The statement also stated that henceforth, five times prayers are allowed in mosques as the Borno State Association of Ulamas agreed to observe with face masks and social distancing while Christians will open churches and conduct their services based on the recommendation of CAN leadership as agreed .

It further directed that even at burials and any other social congregation, face masks and social distancing must be applied while government will continue to monitor the federal government directives .

The statement added that no pharmacist or medical doctor should treat any covid-19 patient in his or her private hospital, instructing that, all covid-19 cases should be referred to the Government hospital, warning that, any defaulter caught will face the wrath of the law

It however states that civil servants in levels 1-12 should continue to stay at home and do their work from home while on the recommendation of the Borno State Association of Ulamas, there would not be Eid El Fitri congregational prayer hence it is a sunnah prayer not obligatory prayer.

The statement also stated in qoute that: "The lockdown be suspended indefinitely to study the situation for the time being, however where the situation escalates, government should revert to status quo.

2. The use of facemasks by the public be made mandatory and enforceable.

3. Government, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and opinion leaders should enforce social distancing, especially in public gatherings/worship places.

4. There should be restriction on public gatherings, especially funeral processions/rights, weddings, narming ceremois etc. to not more than 20 people.

5. Re-emphasize that all medical consultations by Pharmacies and patients medicine stores that are related to Covid-19 or similar ailment shall be referred to government hospitals as defaulters of this direcive will be prosecuted.

6. On no account should government hospitals reject any patient whether because of COVID-19 or other ailments.

7. Government should study the federal governments agreement with health unions with a view to implementing it at the state level.

8. Henceforth Jumma'at prayers and five daily prayers shall be observed in all mosques as recommended by the Bormo State Council of Ulamas in strict adherence witn social distancing and the use of facemask.

9. All Churches shall conduct church services as recommended by Christian Association of Nigeria Bormo Chapter in strict adherence to social distancing and use of facemasks.

10. The ban on the sales and consumption of liquor and other intoxicating substances is still enforced, defauters will be dealt with severely in accordance witn the liquor law.

11. All vehicles, including tricycles (keke napep) must ensure the use of face mask as defauiters will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

12 Appropriate measures be put in place to enforce restrictions at all entry and exit points across the state.

13. All drivers of exempted vehicles bringing in essential goods into Maiduguri will be subjected to Covid-19 test at the point of entry into the state.

14. The Covid-19 Pandemic Response Committee will Continue to monitor the situation as they unfold and appropriate action will be taken accordingly.

15. Civil Servants of grade level 1-12 should continue to Work from home except directed otherwise.

16. Government has considered the recommendation of the Borno State Council of Ulamas which clearly states that Eid-Prayers is Sunnah (non-obligatory) hence, there should be no Eid prayers. Faithful should remain at home during the period.