The Kaduna State Government has restored the two-day window that will allow residents to restock food and other essentials on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a day after it reduced the number of lockdown-free days to one.
A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye on Monday, said that the decision was taken at the end of the daily meeting of the State Standing Committee on Covid-19, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe.
Adekeye said that this restoration of a two-day weekly window for movement is part of efforts to mitigate the effects of the lockdown
Meanwhile, the State Ministry of Health has confirmed five new cases of Covid-19 in the state, among the almajiris who were repatriated from Kano State, the commissioner, Dr Amina Mohammed Baloni has disclosed .
In a statement that she personally signed on Monday, the Commissioner said that there are now nine active cases in Kaduna state.
‘’The contacts of the new cases are being traced so that they can be monitored and tested if they meet the case definition,’’ Dr Baloni added.
According to her, ‘’the new patients have been moved to the Infectious Diseases Control Centre, the state’s premier isolation centre. Our medical professionals are treating them with the same high standards and we wish all our nine active cases speedy recovery.’’
The Commissioner reassured that the testing capacity has improved in the state, adding that Kaduna State has ‘’two labs, one each in Kaduna and Zaria, having been accredited by NCDC to conduct Covid-19 tests.’’
The statement reminded ‘’the general public of the importance of hand-washing, personal hygiene, social distancing and the avoidance of large gatherings in helping protect us all from Covid-19. It is important to stay home, stay safe and save lives.’’
According to Adekeye, Sunday’s decision to restrict the number of days that residents are to restock was ‘necessitated by the growing danger from the Covid-19 situation in neighbouring states.’’
His statement recalled that the five new Covid-19 cases in the state are persons that were recently repatriated from Kano.
The Special Adviser said that ‘’this week Wednesday, residents wearing face-masks can go to shops and markets selling foods and medicines to restock’’, adding that the traders ‘’must also wear face masks, and their customers are expected to observe social distancing.’’
‘’However, all markets will be closed after Wednesday to be replaced by temporary neighbourhood markets which will commence operations this Saturday.
‘’Sellers of food and medicines will be allocated spaces in public schools and other public facilities so that they can serve specific neighbourhoods. Every effort will be made to site these temporary markets within walking distance so that people can pick their groceries and other essentials right in their local areas.
‘’The temporary neighbourhood markets will operate from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and social distancing will be observed during their operations,’’ he said.
Adekeye said that this ‘’will address one of the main reasons why people commute outside their neighbourhoods, and permit more economic activity to happen in a structured manner during quarantine conditions.’’
According to the statement, ‘’details of the locations approved for the temporary neighbourhood markets and the rules of their operations are to be announced later.’’
‘Persons who already run neighbourhood shops that sell foodand provisions are allowed to open daily. However, traders in non-essential goods are advised to remain closed,’’ he added.
The statement reminded residents that vehicles that are not involved in essential services are not permitted to be on the road.
The Special Adviser said that revised Quarantine Orders which will to be published on Tuesday, ‘’will also detail the categories of persons, professions and businesses that are exempted from quarantine conditions.’’
The COVID-19 Standing Committee also approved an enhanced pay package for frontline health workers, he said, adding that the state government ‘’ has also taken life and disability insurance policies.’’
The statement disclosed that government’s gesture ‘’ is in appreciation of the occupational safety issues they confront in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and the commitment they have shown. ‘’I