Niger State Government Further Extends Lockdown Order By Two Weeks

…..Bans Commercial Motorcycle Operation, violators to face full wrath of the law

Plans are at an advanced stage by the Niger State Government to establish a molecular laboratory and a testing center at the General Hospital, Minna, to increase testing capacity and reduce turnaround time for the release of Covid-19 results.

Addressing the media shortly after the weekly meeting with members of the State Taskforce on Covid-19, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed that government had trained 457 health workers and recruited 20 adhoc staff that will man the laboratory.

He explained that the State government has strengthened its surveillance system to detect any case of Coronavirus disease as well as investigate and monitor any outbreak adding that drugs, medical supplies and personal protection equipment have been prepositioned at the Isolation centers.

Governor Sani Bello, however, expressed concern that despite all the measures put in place by government to curtail community transmission, people still flagrantly breach the Covid-19 order of social distancing at public places and wearing of facemasks.

“It is regrettable that closure of interstate borders has not been very effective while Commercial Motorcyclists and other commercial Drivers are seen flouting government orders without much ado”.

The Governor, in view of the prevailing circumstances, consequently announced total ban on the operation of Commercial Motorcycle (Okada)for the next two weeks while the status quo remains on all other measures put in place in the last two weeks.

While reiterating government’s commitment to the safety of its health personnel and indeed the State Covid-19 Taskforce members, Governor Sani Bello assured that government will deal decisively with any attack on its front line workers.

The Governor urged the general public to be more vigilant, adhere strictly to personal hygiene, observe social distancing at public places, wear facemasks and seek medical attention in the event of symptoms such as fever, cough and catarrh.

“Let me also call on individuals with travel history from states with cases of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) to ensure they self-isolate and promptly report to the nearest health facility “.

Earlier, the Vice Chairman of the state Taskforce on Covid-19 and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muhammad Makunsidi disclosed that the state received a total of 252 signals of Suspected Covid-19 cases, investigated 235 and collected over 202 samples for testing.

According to the State Taskforce Vice Chairman, 10 of the samples were returned positive out of which two persons have recovered and discharged.

He said 125 persons are confirmed negative, 67 results are still been awaited, a total of 95 people are in quarantine facilities across the state while 156 people who have completed their two weeks mandatory quarantine have been allowed to go home.

Dr. .Makunsidi also disclosed that the state received a total of 41 returnee Almajiris while 22 have been reunited with their families, adding that the state is also making arrangements to repatriate Almajiris to their various states of origin.