Borno State Lifts Lockdown Indefinitely

The state government however announced the restriction of other public gatherings, especially burials and weddings, to a maximum of 20 people among other new measures.

Governor Babagana of Borno State / Photo credit: channelstv.com
Governor Babagana of Borno State / Photo credit: channelstv.com

The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has suspended the lockdown in the state indefinitely.

He also lifted the ban on Friday and Sunday congregational prayers.

The state government however announced the restriction of other public gatherings, especially burials and weddings, to a maximum of 20 people among other new measures.

Borno, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has so far recorded a total of 188 cases of COVID-19.

The statement lifting the lockdown was signed by the state’s deputy governor and chairman of its COVID-19 response committee, Usman Kadafor.

According to the statement, while the lockdown has suspended indefinitely to study the situation, the government can always reverse the suspension if the rate of infection escalates.

The statement added, “The use of face masks by the public be made mandatory and enforceable.

“Government, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and opinion leaders should enforce social distancing, especially in public gatherings/worship places.

“There should be restrictions on public gatherings, especially funeral processions/rights, weddings and naming ceremonies to not more than 20 people,” it said.

The committee also noted that all medical consultations by pharmacies and patent medicine stores related to COVID-19 or similar ailments should immediately be referred to government hospitals, and that no government hospitals should reject any patient whether because of COVID-19 or other ailments.

It warned that defaulters would be prosecuted.

The statement added, “Henceforth, Jumma’at prayers and five daily prayers shall be observed in all mosques as recommended by the Borno State Council of Ulamas in strict adherence with social distancing and the use of face masks.

“All Churches shall conduct Church services as recommended by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno Chapter in strict adherence with social distancing and use of face masks.”

While the committee reiterated that alcohol and other intoxicating substances remained banned in the state, it also asked civil servants on grade level 1-12 to continue working from home pending a review of the directive.

The government further said that it had adopted the recommendation of the Borno State Council of Ulamas not to permit public gatherings for Eid prayers.

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