Kaduna State Government on Thursday begins the quarantine of all residents in the state.
This was disclosed in a State Broadcast by the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe.
She said the development was as a result of of unsatisfactory compliance levels with the preventive measures that had been outlined by the government in repeated announcements, and with increasing severity, over the past seven days.
The Deputy Governor added that the state government understood that quarantine would have consequences for everyone, but the government was procuring food and other supplies, funded from its contingency budget, to mitigate the challenges of a lockdown for such persons.
“In previous broadcasts, the government made clear that it would not hesitate to impose a curfew if circumstances dictate. With every sense of responsibility, I am compelled to inform you that we are at such a moment.
“Therefore, the State Standing Committee on Covid-19 has recommended, and the Kaduna State Government has accepted, the implementation of the additional emergency measures to enhance the protection of the health and lives of the people of Kaduna State.
“In exercise of the powers vested in the Governor by Section 45 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, (as amended), Sections 2 and 8 of the Quarantine Act 1926, now known as CAP Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Public Health Law of 1917:
“Kaduna State has been declared a public health area, Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19, is hereby declared as a dangerous, infectious disease within the meaning of the Quarantine Act;
“Further to these declarations, and in accordance with the law, the following shall take effect in Kaduna State: From midnight of Thursday, 26th March 2020, all residents of Kaduna State are quarantined and must stay at home. No office, event centre, market, shop or business of any sort or place of worship is allowed to open;
“The only category of persons exempted are workers in essential services such as health workers, the fire service and security personnel. Tankers conveying fuel to petrol stations are also permitted to move; We recognise that Kaduna State is a transport hub. Therefore, transit through Kaduna will be allowed, provided that such vehicles ply only the Western bye-pass
“We recognise that this quarantine will have consequences for everyone, but more so for the vulnerable persons in our communities. As indicated in previous statements, the government is procuring food and other supplies, funded from its contingency budget, to mitigate the challenges of a lockdown for such persons. These items will be distributed in community clusters across identified parts of some urban local government areas in the state. This will be a grassroots exercise, as it is people drawn from the the target community that will constitute the committee to manage the distribution,” she said.
She further stated that these emergency measures would be strictly enforced by the security agencies, as they had clear directives for the immediate arrest, detention and prosecution of any person that violates these measures.
“Churches and mosques will be shut, there will be no congregational prayers or services of worship either within these places of worship or in their immediate outdoors. The circumstances of the moment dictate that the worship of God must be conducted in the privacy of our homes, for now. Wedding events and all social gatherings are strictly prohibited while these emergency measures remain in place
“Let it be clear that any place of worship, event centre or building that hosts social gatherings will be in violation of its term of grant and therefore risks forfeiting its title to the land and having the site of the offence removed in the public interest. This is a dangerous moment, and we cannot risk the lives of the many to indulge the delusions of a few,” she said.