Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi State Government has announced the lifting of the partial lockdown of the state as well as the total lockdown of three local governments with effect from Thursday, May 21st.
The decision was taken at a stakeholders meeting convened by the state governor, Bala Mohammed, on Wednesday, at Command Guest House, Bauchi.
With this development, Friday and Sunday congregational prayers of Muslims and Christians, respectively, which were hitherto banned in the state, are now lifted.
The stakeholders meeting was attended by top government officials, traditional rulers, religious leaders, security agents, market union leaders, among others, who unanimously supported the governor.
The total lockdown of three local governments of Katagum, Giade and Zaki, which expires on Thursday, was also lifted.
Governor Mohammed, however, announced that ‘interstate travel will continue to be restricted unless when necessary.’
Giving reasons for lifting the lockdown, the governor explained that ‘from what we have seen, we want to look at it comprehensively to give breathing space to our people.
‘We have the least number of those in hospital compared to those discharged.
‘We were not doing lockdown because we want to punish anybody. According to the World Health Organisation, we have to learn to live with the virus until it is no more. We have successfully managed the situation so far.
‘127 total patients have been discharged, while 93 cases are active. We have not registered a severe case.
‘We have five deaths arising from non-reportage from the disease and other health issues putting it at 2 per cent, the lowest in the country. Our case management is excellent,’ the governor said.
He further disclosed that 27 health workers who tested positive for the virus are now free, ‘hence we looked at the possibility of lifting the lockdown completely.’
He said that social distancing, use of hand sanitisers and the wearing of face mask would be fully enforced.
‘This decision will be taken by you. We are suggesting that as from Thursday we should lift the lockdown in the whole state, people will go to their business, pray on Friday if we agree on the conduct and character. We need the support of our royal father, but no horse riding massive celebration. We have Thursday to prepare for Eid-el Fitr, he said, adding that schools remain closed.
The governor’s suggestion of lifting of the lockdown received massive support from stakeholders who endorsed it and thanked him for his proactive steps to curtail the spread of the diseases and for carrying everyone along to ensure that the state is safe and secure.