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COVID-19: Bauchi Gov suspends lockdown, open worship centres, Eid- ground
By, Haruna Mohammed Salisu
Bauchi State Governor says the State has resolved to suspend the partial lockdown initially put in place to tame the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
The governor stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting housing religious and traditional leaders which took place at Command Guest Palace, Bauchi.
He said the suspension of the partial and total lockdown of some parts of the state will take effect from May 21, 2020.
According to him, markets and places of worships are allowed to open, while the ban on commercial motorcycle operators remains.
Bala who said Sallah festivities will hold in a low key, without horse riding noted that the curfew from 8am to 6pm recently imposed across the country by the federal government is still in force.
He said that the restrictions in the number of passengers to be taken by commercial drivers and Keke NAPEP operators, closure of schools remained intact, while physical distancing and other measures is to be sustained.
“Allah in his infinite mercy has made this thing to nosedive and today we have the least number of those in hospitals compared to those that have been discharged. From all indications, Allah has answered our prayers.
“We were not doing the lock down because we want to punish anybody but we wanted this thing to come down, and it has come down,” he explained.
The governor who recalled that WHO has warned that the disease may not go completely and people have to live with it, added that Bauchi has successfully managed the disease with its array of technocrats, health workers that have sacrificed so much.
“We have always come here as stakeholders and discuss issues relating to COVID-19 committee that is headed by my brother, the deputy governor, Senator Baba Tela and he has briefed me on some of the discussions we have had here.
“There was a spike in the rising pandemic in the northern part of the state and we took responsibility to lock down completely, the three local governments of Katagum, Giade and Zaki,” he added.
Bala explained that Zaki was locked down because of its proximity with Hadeja of Jigawa state where the incident of coronavirus was prevalent while Katagum was locked down because there were more infections than Bauchi town whereas, 8 cases were recorded in Giade local government.
“So, we have to send experts after the total lockdown, headed by the chairman of the committee in those areas, and they were there for three, four days, while we established a mini rapid response team with the other committees that we have, the committee sat down in Katagum and make sure that the spike has been flattened, not only flattened but it has nosedived,” he said.
The governor who expressed delight that the lockdown has work very well said government has commenced the distribution of palliative in Katagum, Zaki and Giade local government areas of the state where the total lockdown is in force.
He said that the state will soon have its own testing center, adding that the work on the center has reached 80 percent completion.
The governor who said one positive case of the virus have been reported today, Wednesday in the state added that the state has a total confirmed cases of 225, total number of discharged stood at 127 and 93 cases are currently active.
The stakeholders that include traditional leaders, religious leaders, union leaders, government officials, amongst others unanimously took part in the decision to lift the lockdown.
All those who spoke at the meeting commended the governor for the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus, pledging continued support to the government.