Governor Samuel Ortom has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Benue State to curtail further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Ortom announced the curfew in a radio broadcast to the state on Sunday in Makurdi.
He said the decision became imperative following the discovery of the index case of coronavirus in the state and its attendant consequences on the overall health of the state.
He said: “There will be restriction of movement from 7pm to 6am daily, except those on essential services. The curfew will take effect from Monday, 30th March, 2020 till further notice.”
Other measures announced by the governor to contain the ravaging viral infection included the suspension of all public gatherings till further notice.
Ortom, however, explained that marriage ceremonies, community festivals, funerals and religious meetings (Churches and Mosques) were not to exceed 30 persons.
The governor also directed all commercial vehicles traveling in and out of the state as well as those traveling from one local government area to another within the state to submit manifest of their passengers to the appropriate authorities.
He said: “The manifest must contain information about the passengers’ names, phone numbers, residential addresses and final destination.
“Tricycles also known as ‘Keke NAPEP’ should not convey more than two passengers at a time.
“Township and mini buses should not convey more than seven passengers at a time.
“Commercial motorcycles also known as ‘Okada’ should convey one person at a time and wear face mask.
“Importantly, all commercial vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles must have hand sanitisers for the use of passengers.”
The governor, who also announced the “immediate closure of all markets” however exempted shops and commodity stores.
He also placed a ban on all night clubs till further notice, while bars and restaurants were directed to render take-away services only and “must provide hand sanitisers and soap with water for customers’ use”.
Ortom enjoined all people to act as information officers for COVID-19 by passing relevant verified information from the authorities to others.
He said the state government has organised a one-day refresher seminar for all health workers to prepare them for the challenges ahead.
The governor announced the provision of six ambulances and Hilux vehicles for use by the State Emergency Response Team to enhance its operations.
He also announced the release of N60 million for the fight against the dreaded virus in the state and pledged to inaugurate Local Government COVID-19 Action Committees on Monday to enforce the border closure.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had earlier closed down all schools in the state.