Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Monday night extended the current four-week old lockdown and restriction of movement in the state by another six days.
The News Agency if Nigeria reports that Fayemi made this known at about 9pm on Monday in a statewide broadcast, shortly after that of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “Since we commenced the Stay-At-Home and ‘Dusk to Dawn’ curfew 4-weeks ago, as part of actions to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ekiti State, we have recorded some significant successes.
“The situation has also thrown up a new set of challenges that necessitates that we take stock, review and recommit ourselves to the goal of keeping our state coronavirus free.
“These measures have become necessary in view of the fact that interstate travel from the main epicentre of the outbreak have been responsible for the index cases of infection in many states, including here in Ekiti State.
“This was why the Nigerian Governors Forum, under my leadership, agreed among others, that a coordinated restriction on interstate travel is thus expected to reduce the spread significantly with a view to quickly bringing the pandemic under control.”
Fayemi said it was the desire of the government that normal life and business activities be restored immediately in view of the economic pressure and loss of livelihood for many of the residents, but remarked that the prevalence would not allow that at this time.
He said: “The enemy we face is so deadly that we must prioritize the safety of lives, health and well-being of our people over other considerations.
“We must therefore proceed with caution to ensure we do not lose all the advantages we have gained from the sacrifice of the past 4 weeks.
“That means we are not out of the woods yet, so in reviewing the lockdown, our actions must be cautious, gradual, deliberate and very firm;
“More importantly, they must be as advised by the medical and scientific experts at the frontline of this battle.”
Fayemi said after careful deliberation with the State Task Force on the impact and gains of the last four weeks, and in view of the sudden spike in the confirmed cases in the state, from a total of four to eight, with five active cases at the weekend, “we cannot totally lift the lockdown without endangering Ekiti residents.
“I have therefore decided that we shall proceed cautiously as follows: There shall now be a 6p.m – 6a.m curfew every day of the week until further notice.
“No movement of vehicle or human traffic whatsoever will be allowed except for verified medical emergencies.
“The current lockdown directive, which ends today Monday, April 27th is hereby extended for another six (6) days until 23:59 hours, on Sunday, May 3rd, 2020. All conditions and exemptions remain in force during the extension.
“Limited Resumption: Business activities will resume for only 3 days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) from the hours of 7a.m – 4 p.m only, to allow the self-employed earn some income to feed their families and not wait solely on Government for palliatives
“Citizens must, however, observe social distancing, hand washing and wearing of masks at all times.
“Businesses must provide liquid soap and running water for hand washing while supermarkets should not have more than 10 persons at any time in their store. A more detailed guidelines would be made public after this broadcast.
“Businesses that do not comply will be shut down for 6 months. Restriction of movement will be enforced 4 days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays).
“Only essential services including food, medical, beverages, petroleum, banks, agriculture, construction, selected media and telecommunications are exempted from the restriction.
“Violators will be prosecuted and may be fined or imprisoned. All large gatherings remain banned. No religious, social, political and educational gathering will be allowed to hold in Ekiti State until the pandemic is brought under control.
“Any facility that violates this directive may be shut down for not less than 12 months
“On Boundary lockdown. All travels from and into Ekiti State are hereby banned, as all boundaries of Ekiti State will be on lockdown 24 hours daily.
“Only food, medical, beverages, petroleum, agriculture and construction supply trucks are exempted but they cannot have more than 3 persons per truck.
“Any vehicle caught in violation may be forfeited to the state and passengers prosecuted.
“Wearing of face masks is now compulsory in Ekiti State. Everyone must wear a face mask when going out of the home so you don’t spread the virus to others.
“Residents are advised to make their own masks while government will provide masks for essential duty workers only.
“Guidelines on how to make them will be provided. Reusable fabric masks that can be washed after every use is appropriate.
“Such face masks will be strictly enforced on the streets, so, if you cannot wear a face mask, stay at home as you may be arrested and prosecuted for willfully endangering public health.
“Intra city Commercial Transportation will be allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6a.m-4p.m only on condition that they comply with strict social distancing directives.
“Okadas can only carry one passenger, taxis not more than 3 passengers and tricycles not more than 2 passengers.
“Any driver who violates this directive will be arrested, prosecuted and may forfeit the vehicle or cycle to the government.
“If mass violation occurs, commercial transportation will be completely banned indefinitely.
“Interstate travel is hereby restricted. Visits to or from Ekiti State is prohibited while the pandemic subsists.
“Insistent visitors must be prepared to be turned back or kept in our border town quarantine centres for 14 days minimum and shall be responsible for their own upkeep.
“Any private or commercial driver caught violating this directive will be arrested and prosecuted and may forfeit the vehicle to Ekiti State.”
Fayemi also again shut down all major markets in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, and all major markets in Local Governments, saying all such markets, including Oja Oba, Oja Bisi, Shasha and major LGA market days, remain closed every day of the week.
He said residents are advised to henceforth patronise the neighbourhood markets or sell their wares from home, as violators would be arrested, prosecuted and may forfeit their goods to the state government or have their stores shut down for 6 months even after the pandemic is contained.
On Public Service resumption, Fayemi said only officers in the following categories may report at their desks on authorised days and scrupulously adhere to the rules of social distancing: Level 13 and above, Officers rendering Essential Services, Administrative Officers and others as required by the Accounting Officers in the MDAs
On palliatives, he said the Ekiti State Food Bank had distributed food packs to over 40,000 households across the 16 LGAs in the last one month.
On COVID-19 Testing, the Governor said the state government is working to get a Test Centre in the state as soon as possible.
This, he explained, would help increase random community testing, so government can isolate the infection early and remove from circulation to prevent more infections.
According to him, government’s aim is to test 10,000 persons between now and June.