…as state records 3 new cases
By Mosunmola Ayobami,Kwara
The Kwara State Government has announced partial relaxation of the lockdown in the state to align with the national policy of gradual reopening of the states on lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government, thus, warned that the measures do not mean the country is out of danger.
The measures came as the state began distribution of thousands of face masks — all produced within the state —in a bid to curtail the transmission of the disease.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Kayode Alabi, told newsmen at a briefing in Ilorin that markets and businesses would now open everyday but in 60 per cent capacity of their pre-COVID 19 operations.
Also, commercial transporters except motorcyclists would be permitted to work within the state at varied capacities.
He explained that taxis would carry just three passengers per trip, tricycles can only transport two persons at a time while commercial buses are to carry 50 per cent of their capacity.
He threatened a crackdown on any violators of the government’s directives.
The deputy Governor said schools, hotels, beer parlours and night clubs remain shut while restaurants are to serve takeaways only.
Sport gatherings, religious and non-religious gatherings, concerts, and other social parties remain banned, he added.
According to him, “In line with the Federal Government’s guidelines to gradually open up the economy, His Excellency the Governor has directed the Kwara State Technical Committee to come up with modalities on how to gradually return to normalcy from Monday May 4, 2020, while ensuring we respect all safety protocols”.
He said: “We want to make it abundantly clear that we are caught between two extremes as we are definitely not out of the wood.
“We are caught on the one hand by the need to protect people’s lives in compliance with our oath of office and on the other by the need to not totally cripple the economy.
“Dear Kwarans, we are not out of the wood. Just today, Kwara has recorded three more new cases of COVID-19. That takes us to 14 confirmed cases in Kwara. Of these, 12 are active as we had earlier discharged two.
“All our cases are stable and in the best spirits. We want to emphasise that one of the three new cases was imported while the remaining two are contacts of our earlier cases. Aggressive contact tracing has since begun.
“This incident of another imported case explains why we are now deploying military personnel to man our borders while police and other security agencies maintain their hold internally.
“We are proud to say that our strategy to prevent community dissemination is working so far. We thank all our frontline workers for this great feat.
“We urge them to keep the good work. In recognition of their hard work and sacrifice, His Excellency the Governor has approved special allowances for all the healthcare workers attending to our COVID-19 cases in Kwara State.
“In preparation for the gradual easing of lockdown, the government had earlier directed the production of 500,000 face masks which have started coming in bits.
“At the moment, we have commenced mass distribution of over 40,000 face masks and sanitisers to markets, bus parks and transporters, hospitals, and elsewhere.
“We will continue to distribute as we receive more masks in the next few days or weeks. We call on private individuals and corporate organizations to also produce masks.”