Kwara State Government has ordered ‘total lockdown’ in Offa town following the confirmation of two cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the ancient town.
A statement on Tuesday evening by the Deputy Governor/Chairman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Kayode Alabi, said the shutdown would become effective from 6 pm on Wednesday.
The statement said the directive was pursuant to the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.
“The shutdown means total restriction on every vehicular movement into or from Offa. The exceptions to this directive are those contained in the recent address of Mr President which granted access to vehicles transporting foodstuffs, poultry and pharmaceutical products,” Mr Alabi said.
“Any other movement, private or commercial is hereby banned for the next 14 days or until such a time the government is satisfied that our people are no longer at risk of mass infections arising from the two cases that have been traced to the town.”
According to the statement, violators are liable to punishments outlined in the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.
Alabi added in the statement: “Various security agencies, including the police and the Nigerian Navy, have been drafted to enforce this directive while His Royal Highness the Olofa of Offa has been fully briefed.
“We urge our people to please bear with us in this tough period. The human community is certain to come out of this pandemic stronger and better. The government calls for timely report of any suspicious case of COVID-19.
“Anyone with travel history to frontline states, the America or European countries and others in the last three weeks should please contact the Kwara State Technical Committee for relevant advisory.
“Arrangements have been made to distribute palliatives to the poorest of the poor to assist them in this trying time. This will happen before the week runs out. The categories of the people to receive the palliatives are strictly the aged, the physically challenged, widows/widowers, poor artisans, and any other needy group that the ward-based committee on palliatives deem qualified for the food stuffs.
“This committees comprise traditional rulers, religious leaders and local Community Based Organisations whose duty is to monitor the exercise. We want to clarify that this palliative cannot go round. It is targeted strictly at the poorest of the poor in the belief that they are the most affected at this time.”
The deputy governor said claims that one of the two suspected COVID-19 cases had died was false.
“They both remain stable and asymptomatic at this time,” he said in the statement.