After a fruitful engagement with relevant stakeholders, Kaduna state government said it would next week announce its next steps towards reopening the economy.
The state has been under lockdown since March following the outbreak of coronavirus in the state.
In a statement on Thursday, signed by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe who is also the chairperson, state taskforce on COVID-19, the government urged the people of the state to continue to observe all protocols and guidelines under the extant quarantine order until the new measures are communicated next week.
Kaduna’s lockdown has been partial in efforts to balance livelihoods with the imperatives of protecting public health.
“Last week, the state government extended the Quarantine Orders by a further two weeks during which stakeholders will be consulted on the conditions for a safe re-opening of the state. Further to that commitment, the government has initiated consultations with traditional rulers, the business community, market and transport unions, proprietors of private schools and religious leaders to discuss the protocols for re-opening more segments of society and the economy,” said the deputy governor.
“Government has been encouraged by the response from the stakeholders consulted. They engaged constructively with the discussion documents we circulated and have made very insightful and creative contributions. We thank all the leaders and patriots that participated in the consultations for their positive disposition. We are reassured that there is a constituency of responsible leaders who understand the dangers and challenges of Covid-19 and are prepared to help the state and society navigate safely through a new and often uncertain reality.
“The recommendations and suggestions that have emerged from the consultations will help to strengthen the re-opening strategy. The draft guidelines and discussion documents shared with the stakeholders will be improved with inputs received. Clear protocols and guidelines for the reopening of approved sectors will be published before the current Quarantine Order expires on Tuesday, 9th June 2020. This will spell out what is required and the measures to be taken in the economic and social sectors that will reopen.
“The Kaduna State Government appeals to all citizens to patiently await the publication of these guidelines in a few days and a formal announcement on the re-opening of permitted sectors. Citizens should avoid precipitate and illegal action. Having endured so much already, it is only prudent to allow the sacrifices that have been made to be followed by a safe and responsible reopening that builds on the suggestions and recommendations of stakeholders and the health protocols of our Ministry of Health.
“Therefore, markets, places of worship, schools and other facilities whose operations are prohibited under the Quarantine Order remain shut until the approved protocols are announced next week. Citizens should note that congregational worship is not yet permitted. Religious leaders are aware of this fact, and we expect everyone to live up to their obligations and avoid needless, illegal activity.
She urged the people of the state to continue to wear facemasks when outdoors, observe physical distancing, wash hands regularly with soap and water and avoid large gatherings and crowded places.