Niger vows to deal with violators of COVID-19 protocols

Following increasing number of confirmed cases of people infected with COVID-19 in Niger State and the continued flagrant disregard for safety protocols, the state government yesterday warned that it would deal decisively with the offenders of such protocols in the state.


It reminded the people that the state’s preventive, containment and emergency order was still in place. Secretary to the Government (SSG) and Chairman, Niger State Task Force on COVID-19, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, yesterday said that government may yet be forced to restore some guidelines earlier lifted due to non-compliance with the safety protocols.


He said despite public enlightenment and advocacies embarked upon by the task  force, it was disappointing to see people flouting the guidelines which included wearing of facemasks, physical distancing, regular hand washing with soap under running water and application of hand sanitisers, among others.


Findings by Our Correspondent had it that the state government was considering imposing another regime of partial lockdown if it must contain the spread of the virus.


According to sources, “Government views with grave concern the rise in the rate of infection of the virus in the state following the easing of the COVID-19 Preventive, Containment and Emergency Order; therefore, the government led by Dr Abubakar Sani Bello, will not hesitate to restore some guidelines earlier lifted by the government due to non-compliance with the safety protocols of coronavirus”.


Matane noted that low compliancewiththeMinistry of Transport guidelines had been observed by operators of privateandcommercialvehicles, popularlycalledOkada operators, as well as commercial tricycle operators, which were still plying the roads despitethesuspensionplacedon their activities.


The chairman revealed that in order to bring the situation under control, the state government had directed security agencies to confiscate any motorcycle operator, private or commercial, who flouted the guidelines.


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