Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has imposed a 24 hours curfew on Karu Local Government Area of the state to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease into the state.
Sule disclosed this during a press briefing at Government House in Lafia on Wednesday.
The governor said the decision was due to the proximity of Karu Local Government Area to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic into the state.
Sule explained that the 24 hours curfew takes effect from 6pm on Thursday and would last for 14 days.
He said: “Although, Nasarawa State has not recorded any case, it behoves on us to take further stringent measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus into the state.
“This is particularly necessary considering the influx of people from the FCT to Nasarawa State, which may pose a major challenge to controlling the spread of the pandemic.
“It is for this reason and in line with the provisions of the Nasarawa State Dangerous Infectious Diseases Emergency Prevention Regulations 2020 as well as the advice of the Nasarawa State High Powered Committee on COVID-19, that the following measures have come into effect.
“Entry into Nasarawa State is hereby restricted between 6pm and 6am and all persons coming into the state shall continue to be screened at designated checkpoints and mobile clinics.”
The governor added that movement in Lafia, the state capital, and other urban areas will be restricted from Thursday between 8pm and 6am and reiterated the state government’s earlier measure that all markets and shops are to remain closed except those selling food items and medicine.
“People of Nasarawa State are urged to maintain the social distancing directive by the Federal Government and other measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
Sule directed further that all civil servants in the state from Grade Level 1 to 12 are to work from home.
“Security personnel are hereby directed to ensure enforcement of all these directives, but a palliative committee has been working round the clock to ensure citizens of the state are provided with necessary support during this very difficult period,” he said.
He explained that before taking the new measures, his administration had ensured that all salaries and pensions had been paid to workers in the state to cushion the effect of the measures.
He said: “We had also given directive at the local government area that all salaries and pensions should be paid.
“However, I was recently informed that some local government areas were unable to pay full salaries due to shortfall in the allocation of their monthly amount.
“Instead, they were able to appeal to their various unions and paid certain percentage.
“However, everyone should have been paid by now.”
Sule therefore called on residents of the state to continue to abide by the restriction measures put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19.
“We are not taking any of these decisions in order to cause hardship for our dear citizens, rather it is to protect our people and we pray they will continue to understand from that angle,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that before the new measures revealed by the governor, the state government had earlier announced several measures such as closure of schools and worship centres to prevent the risk and spread of the virus in the state.