As part of additional measures to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Kaduna State Government has banned the operations of public transport motorcycles, taxis, and tricycles because they do not satisfy the conditions for social distancing.
Deputy Governor Hadiza Balarabe, who made the announcement in a state broadcast on Wednesday, said that the decision was taken after senior government officials met to review the level of compliance with the measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Balarabe said that commercial buses are allowed to operate for now but must not carry more than two passengers in a row.
According to her, the state government is ready to suspend all forms of public transportation if circumstances compel it.
The deputy governor recalled that the state government had “requested the appropriate authorities to stop train services to help curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“Further to this, the Kaduna State Government will today (Wednesday) be taking steps to stop the Abuja-Kaduna train service which needs to be suspended for a few weeks,” she added.
Balarabe said that government has directed all utility vehicles that have been assigned to officials to be recalled in order “to enhance the state’s capacity for rapid response and contact tracing, monitoring and supervision of surveillance activities should any positive case be identified.
“The vehicles should be parked in the yard of the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure. Drivers of the utility vehicles should also report to the Commissioner for Public Works to submit their contact details,” she directed.
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According to the deputy governor, payment of salaries for March 2020 has commenced but she advised everyone to be financially prudent, given the tough times that lie ahead.
“The state government is committed to getting food and necessities across to identified vulnerable groups should a lockdown become inevitable.
“The required supplies are being procured while a system of distribution to the persons that most need them is being worked out,” she assured.
The deputy governor thanked people for the growing compliance with the measures that have been announced to protect residents of the state from coronavirus.
‘’The state government will continue its enlightenment campaigns in the media to help people stay safe, stay alive and save lives. And it will not relent in robustly enforcing preventive measures,” she said.
Balarabe reiterated the ban on large public gatherings, the closing of markets, with the exception of traders in food, medicines and essential items, including the need for people to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.
“Government recognises that compliance with these measures comes with a level of inconvenience for which we readily apologise. But we trust that everyone understands the necessity for these sacrifices as the most pragmatic way to keep people safe and alive,” she added.