Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has directed the closure of all inter-state routes as part of precautionary measures to curtail the outbreak of Covid-19 in the state.
The move which was made known during a state-wide broadcast on Thursday night in Sokoto, was in line with international best practices and that of national policies which conform with established and extant regulations as enshrined in the Islamic code.
He explained that the inter-state closure order will take effect from midnight on Friday, March 27th 2020 to 10th April 2020 while all state civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below are to work from their homes for an initial two weeks.
Governor Tambuwal noted that the roads will not be closed against the supply of food and essential medical commodities, pending observations of the trends of the disease in state and country.
He noted that further measures to be taken by the state will be predicated on expert advice from the State Ministry of Health, Nigerian Center for Disease Control and Federal Ministry of Health as and when the need arises.
The governor acknowledged that the state is experiencing a relatively safe situation and has so far recorded no case of infection, noting that only suspected case has tested negative of the virus.
He disclosed that a task force of experts has been constituted on the 19th March 2020, under the leadership of the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Muhammed Ali Inname.
“The terms of reference of the committee are to advise government on all measures needed to be taken to prevent the entry and spread of the disease into Sokoto State and also to organise public enlightenment campaigns and statewide engagement with members of the public.
“Government has been following the recommendations of the task force committee, some of which include: training of medical personnel to handle patients of Covid 19, provision of Isolation centres, sensitization of the public on the disease.
“Furthermore, a consultative meeting with traditional leaders and Ulama under the able leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto with the Task Force Committee on Coronavirus and leadership of security agencies in the state was held,” he explained.
The governor commended the Sultan of Sokoto, traditional leaders and Ulama for participating in the engagement and their contributions towards addressing this challenge.
“We appeal to them to continue with prayers and sensitization of the public.
“My fellow citizens of Sokoto State, I urge you to cooperate with relevant authorities and adhere to these measures in the interest of our well-being and survival as the human race.
“Let me call on community and religious leaders to sensitize the public on the disease and report early any observed symptoms. The ministries of Environment and Health are hereby directed to intensify efforts towards sanitation, cleanliness and provision of necessary medical supplies.” Tambuwal said.
He however assured that government will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard the values and culture of the citizens in the state while soliciting fervent prayers for divine intervention.