Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has, in order to further combat the spread of coronavirus, extended the movement restriction and curfew imposed in the state by two weeks, following the expiration of the initial order on Monday night. The restriction will now end on April 27th.
The new directive which was contained in a release signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanj, also made the wearing of face mask compulsory in public places.
The governor also directed that the restriction of movement would be suspended for eight hours, (between 6 am -2 pm) on Thursday, April 16 and Thursday, April 23rd, to allow people re-stock essential goods.
Like the previous order, those on essential services and vendors of foodstuff, water and medicines and other essential goods are allowed to move with valid means of identification.
The governor also said government would scale up its palliative measures and other support to the people and businesses in order to cushion the effect of the movement restriction.
The statement reads: “In consideration of available evidence on progress made to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Ekiti State and in recognition of similar efforts by neighbouring states and the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has directed the extension of restriction of movement and curfew in Ekiti State for two weeks, until 23:59 Monday, April 27, 2020.
“Only exceptions allowed are for the purposes of obtaining food, seeking emergency, life-saving, or chronic medical attention or obtaining social security grant. Persons performing essential services will be allowed to move around, particularly health workers, but must be duly designated with an identity card by the Head of their Institutions.
“All businesses and other entities shall remain closed. Oja Oba and Oja Bisi markets shall remain closed. Except for any business or entity involved in manufacturing, supply, or provision of an essential good or service. In facilities where essential goods are sold, all directives in respect of hygienic conditions to prevent the exposure of persons to COVID-19 must be adhered to.
“Any gathering in Ekiti State remains prohibited save for gathering in respect of a funeral, which shall be limited to 20 people.
“All boundaries of the state shall remain closed during the period of extension, except for transportation of fuel, and essential goods.
“All commuter transport services including bus services, taxi services, motorbikes (okada) and tricycle services (Keke NAPEP), are prohibited.
“In compliance with recent findings on causes of the spread of COVID -19, wearing of facemasks in public places will be compulsory from 14th April 2020. Government is finalising arrangements to make facemasks available to persons on essential duties, including foodstuff sellers in markets.
“The school-on-air programme for primary and secondary school students will continue during the period. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has been directed to continue to improve on the modalities for ensuring effective delivery of this programme.
“Government is making efforts to set up a COVID 19 test centre in the state. This is one of the major tasks of the COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee, recently set up by the government to mobilise funds and manage projects to prevent the spread of this pandemic.
“ Government will continue to intensify ongoing measures specifically in response to the hardship being experienced by people across the state. Government’s strategy is made up of three parts- an intensified public health response to slow down and reduce infections; comprehensive package of economic support measures to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic and a programme of increased social support to protect poor and vulnerable households.
Governor Fayemi commended the people for their patience and understanding, adding that there is sufficient evidence to show that these measures taken so far are working.”
He urged them to continue to observe all hygienic procedures recommended by health workers, including avoiding shaking hands, hugging, sitting close to each other and other forms of physical contact.
“We must continue to wash our hands regularly and thoroughly using water and soap or sanitizer. To stay safe and to keep others safe we must continue to respect whatever restrictions are placed on our movement and on our daily lives,” he added.