Agaju Madugba, Katsina, Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto, Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has ordered resumption of Muslim congregational prayers earlier banned in Daura at the wake of the global pandemic.
As part of measures to curtail the spread of the disease, Masari had directed the suspension of congregational prayers in mosques and churches throughout the state, apparently in conformation with the social distancing regime recommended by World Health Organisation and endorsed by the Federal Government.
The government in a statement on Tuesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, said Muslim leaders might wish to resume their normal congregational prayers, including the Friday Juma’at prayers.
Inuwa said the development was the outcome of a meeting of various religious and other stakeholders, including traditional rulers and security agencies in the state.
Governor Masari has directed the lifting of the suspension of Friday prayers with immediate effect but to be conducted under some stipulated health and security guidelines.
“The Juma’at imams should, however, avoid prolonged sermons and discharge their followers within short period.
“People are also strongly advised to maintain social distancing and adhere to all rules and regulations as provided by health experts in fighting the contagious disease,” he said.
The statement is silent on the subsisting ban of church services but a government source said yesterday that the relevant agencies are expected to hold separate meetings with Christian leaders in the state to deliberate on the matter.
The governor had, also last weekend, ordered civil servants to return to work while schools, including tertiary institutions remain shut.
The Katsina COVID-19 index case, a medical doctor, died last Saturday at the Air Force Hospital, Daura, according to Masari.
Reports indicate that the deceased, aged 55, had travelled to his home state of Kogi from where he proceeded to Lagos and spent two weeks before returning to Daura where he was the proprietor of a private hospital.
He was said to have underlying ailments of hepatitis and hypertension.
Masari noted that health officials had been mobilised to Daura on contact-tracing of persons with who the victim might have had interactions.
lockdown till April 30
Yobe State Government has extended restriction of movements targeted against spread of coronavirus till April 30.
Commissioner for Information, Abdullahi Bego, in a statement on behalf of COVID-19 State Prevention and Control Committee, said the shutdown of local borders with other neighbouring states and restriction of movements announced last week, shall be in force till April 30.
“The stay-at-home and work-from-home directive for civil servants from Grade Level 12 and below has been extended till April 30.”
It said the measure was to prevent the spread of the disease to the state from other parts of the country. Yobe shares border with Bauchi with six confirmed cases, Jigawa, Gombe and Borno states.
“These are measures that cut across sectors and domains and that are designed to ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to protecting the people and maintaining the zero-case status of the state,” the government said.
It urged people to continue to observe and implement all anti-coronavirus measures, including social distancing, regular hand washing, and excellent respiratory etiquette.
The Yobe State COVID-19 Prevention and Control Committee is led by the Deputy Governor, Idi Barde Gubana.
3,802 Sokoto residents get FG’s N20,000
Coordinator, Federal Government conditional cash transfer programme in Sokoto State, Zayyanu Shuni, has said about 3,802 Sokoto residents have benefitted in the ongoing COVID-19 palliative measures.
In a statement in Sokoto, yesterday, Shuni said the exercise was done in partnership with the Sokoto State Government.
He said the disbursement commenced last Thursday and covered four local governments of the state that consist Tambuwal, Tureta, Rabah and Binji in which 3,802 benefitted.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Social Investment, Hayatu Tafida, who oversees the distribution of N20,000 palliatives to the remaining beneficiaries in Gudu and Isa local governments, said the programme was to alleviate poverty condition among vulnerable Nigerians.
Police arrest 21, impound 53 vehicles in Kaduna
kaduna State Police Command, yesterday said it has arrested 21 people and impounded 53 vehicles for allegedly violating the COVID-19 curfew within one week.
Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Jalige, said the command was able to achieve the feat with the collaboration of other security agencies.
He said out of the 21 people arrested, 10 were screened and released while the remaining 11 were still under investigation.
Jalige said the 11 suspects would be prosecuted after completion of investigation in accordance with the relevant extant laws of the land.
He explained the imposition of 24-hour curfew by the Kaduna State Government on March 27, and the initial social distancing order by the federal and state governments is to curtail the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Jalige enjoined the public to be law-abiding, observe the safety tips and continue to comply with the curfew and the social distancing orders aimed at enhancing public safety and public health.
He warned that violators of government orders would be made to face the law.