COVID-19: Kwara orders lockdown of Offa

By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

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Kwara State government has ordered a total lockdown of the ancient town of Offa local government area of the state. This was as a result of the confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 in the city.

The state government said is compelled to effect a total shutdown of the ancient town to contain community transmission and save people’s lives. According to the government, the shutdown will become effective at 6pm local time Wednesday April 8th.

This directive is pursuant to the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020.

The state Deputy Governor who is also the Chairman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Mr Kayode Alabi made this disclosure at a news conference.

“The shutdown means total restriction on every vehicular movement into or from Offa stressing that the exceptions to this directive are those contained in the recent address of Mr. President which granted access to vehicles transporting foodstuffs, poultry and pharmaceutical products warning that  any other movement, private or commercial is hereby banned for the next 14 days or until such a time the government is satisfied that our people are no longer at risk of mass infections arising from the two cases that have been traced to the town,” he said.

The Deputy Governor reminded violators that they are liable to punishments outlined in the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020. Various security agencies, including the police and the Nigerian Navy, have been drafted to enforce this directive while the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Oloyede Gbadamosi Esuwoye the second has been fully briefed.

 “We urge our people to please bear with us in this tough period. The human community is certain to come out of this pandemic stronger and better. The government calls for timely report of any suspicious case of COVID-19. Anyone with travel history to frontline states, the America or European countries and others in the last three weeks should please contact the Kwara State Technical Committee for relevant advisory” he added.

Palliatives

He announced that arrangements have been made to distribute palliatives to the poorest of the poor to assist them in this trying time explaining that it will happen before the week runs out.

“The categories of the people to receive the palliatives are strictly the aged, the physically challenged, widows/widowers, poor artisans, and any other needy group that the ward-based committee on palliatives deem qualified for the food stuffs, he added

He disclosed that the committees comprise traditional rulers, religious leaders and local Community Based Organisations whose duty is to monitor the exercise clarified that this palliative cannot go round as it is targeted strictly at the poorest of the poor in the belief that they are the most affected at this time.

Dominica Nwabufo