Ben Ayade locks down Cross River 



  •  As Jigawa explores conversion of hotels to isolation centres


Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has declared a total lockdown as part of proactive measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The governor also ordered the indefinite suspension of the Local Government Council elections scheduled to hold on Saturday in the state.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, read, “All the entry points into Cross River State (land, air, and water) are hereby locked down. Access will be based on passing a thorough screening regime”.

Governor Ayade directed that all educational institutions in the state – both public and private must shut down from Tuesday until further notice and ordered all civil servants, except those on essential services such as medical personnel and revenue officers, to stay away from work for an initial period of two weeks, with immediate effect.

The governor directed that all social, cultural, and religious activities be suspended while essential activities in the state must not have a crowd beyond five persons.

On transportation, he ordered that every tricycle and taxi should convey only one passenger at a time and must have hand sanitisers for use by their passengers and asked commercial bus drivers to have only two passengers on a seat and sanitise their vehicles after every trip.

“All transport companies must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers. They must also provide hand washstands and hand sanitisers in their buses.

“Passengers are consequently encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water and sanitise them before boarding.”

The governor directed that all public areas, bars, and restaurants should be limited to five customers at a time while corporate and business organisations must keep visitors’ registers and take temperature checks of guests using a non-contact infra-red thermometer.

He said any guest with high temperature above 38 degrees Celsius should be reported immediately to the COVID-19 emergency centre.

Meanwhile, Jigawa State Government has said it is looking to convert some hotels in the state into isolation centers for the northwest region.

Newsmen had reported that the Jigawa State Government on Monday ordered the immediate closure of secondary and primary schools as part of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Dr Abba Zakari, the commissioner of health in the state, made this known during a press briefing with newsmen at the state secretariat in Dutse, on Tuesday.

Zakari, who noted that this was necessary due to the rapid increase of cases by the day, said the state government will take every precautionary step to ensure that the spread of the disease is curtailed.

He said “All schools including Islamiyah and Tsangaya Schools are ordered to be shut. Gatherings of more than 20 persons are also banned. We advise everyone to be mindful of social distance and also to practice personal hygiene.

“We are also working with religious and traditional leaders to ensure full compliance.

“The state government is also working to establish a test center in the state”.

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