In a bid to check the spread of Coronavirus, the Bauchi State Government has imposed a total lockdown across the state.
This was contained in a 3 paragraph statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mohammed Sabiu Baba, copies of which were made available to newsmen in Bauchi on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the total lockdown will take effect as from Thursday, 2nd April 2020 as from 6 pm and will in operation for the next 14 days.
The statement reads in part: “Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, Governor of Bauchi State appreciates the sacrifices of the public in these agonising period. He has subsequently directed that in order for the public to purchase food items, movement is allowed between 10 am to 4 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The ban does not, however, affect essential services.”
The Governor also appealed to the public to appreciate that the measures are aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 outbreak that is presently threatening the society urging the people to continue with prayers to God.
It will be recalled that the Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela, had over the weekend expressed displeasure of the non-compliance with the stay at home directive issued by the government at the start of the presence of the outbreak in the state.
The Deputy Governor, who is Chairman of the State Taskforce on COVID-19, lamented that, “I drove round Bauchi and what I saw was very sad, people defying the stay at home order and going about their normal businesses, this is unacceptable and government must take stringent steps because we don’t want the virus to spread here.”
He stressed that, “you will recall that the Governor held a stakeholders meeting and told them what to be done in order to ensure that everyone was safe but it is unfortunate that people have refused to comply.”
Baba Tela, who briefed the Press on Saturday, added that, “government is not stopping anyone from praying, what we are saying is that, people should pray at the next mosques or churches around them, they don’t have to move around. What we are trying to avoid is public transmission of the infection from person to person on the street.”
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the recovery nature of the two positive index cases in the state saying that they are doing well and responding to treatment as expected.
The Taskforce Chairman also disclosed that in the next 24 hours, the three designated hospitals in Bauchi and Azare for the management of the cases, that may come up, will be ready naming General Hospital, Bayara, as the centre for the first stage cases, ATBUTH, Bauchi for the second stage as well as Federal Medical Center, Azare for the Northern zone of the state.
He then appealed to the Federal Government, to as a matter of necessity, give the state a helping hand through a special grant as was done to Lagos state pointing out that already, a few organisations in the state have extended donations to augment the state.