By Hussaina Yakubu
Gov. Nasir el Rufai has opened up Kaduna State after 75 days of partial lockdown, following the invocation of the Quarantine Act.
In a state broadcast on Tuesday, the governor paid tribute to the people of the state for their immense sacrifices in the last two and half months as containment measures against Covid-19 were implemented.
He said that as from Wednesday, the Quarantine Order would be amended to permit significant reopening of the state, especially businesses and places of worships.
He, however, said that schools and markets would remain closed because at this stage of COVID-19 containment, it was still considered unsafe for markets and schools to reopen.
He promised that government would keep engaging the relevant stakeholders on the matter to determine the appropriate timing and conditions precedent.
‘’Businesses can reopen, subject to the provision of thermometers for temperature checks, sanitizers or hand washing equipment and physical distancing measures within all facilities. Working hours will be between 9am and 3p.m. daily,’’ he said.
The governor further said that church services are allowed only on Sundays and mosques are allowed to conduct only Friday Jumat services for the time being, subject to compliance with the safety stipulations.
El Rufai maintained that transport operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50 per cent of capacity.
The governor said that the ban on intra-state travel has been lifted but government officials would continue to control state boundaries to reduce unauthorised interstate travel.
‘’Within the state, security checkpoints will be allowed only to enforce compliance with the night curfew.
”During the day, any violations of the adjusted Quarantine Order like failure to wear facemasks will be enforced by Operation Yaki, KASTLEA, the Vigilance Service and Mobile Courts,’’ he said.
According to him, ‘’supermarkets and personal services providers such as hair dressing and barbing salons can reopen; hotels can fully open, but with their restaurants and bars offering only room service”.
The governor warned that restaurants may all reopen after decontamination, but still restricted to takeaway services.
On office, he said that public servants would be summoned back to work in phases to be announced by the Head of Service.
El Rufai cautioned that after the opening up of the state, the next step of staying safe while pursuing socio-economic activities was strictly in the hands of each individual.
‘’While we require citizens to practice personal responsibility, the places where they work, worship or shop and the vehicles they travel in must also protect their health and safety.
”Any facility or sector that violates the guidelines will be closed down under the Quarantine Order No. 2 of June 2020 that I will sign today for immediate gazetting,” he said. (NAN)