From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has directed that all entry points into Kogi State land and waterways should be closed while entry and transit by any vehicle are subject to a successful health check of all passengers.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Kingsley Fanwoe also directed that commercial motorcycle operators should suspend their operations with effect from Thursday 26th March 2020 saying strict compliance is mandatory.
“Tricycle (Keke) operators may carry only one (1) passenger at a time while regular 4-wheeled taxis may carry only three (3) passengers at a time (1 in front and 2 behind) and must provide hand sanitizers for use by their passengers. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance.”
“Buses may carry only two (2) passengers per row of seats, subject to a maximum of 10 passengers per trip for any type of bus. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance as defaulters will be arrested”.
“With this, we will be able to ensure compliance with the social distancing procedures as well as discourage people from coming to the public space indiscriminately,” the statement warned.
Governor Bello noted that the directive shutting all educational institutions in the state, both public and private, from Monday, March 23, 2020, remains in effect until further notice and also civil servants on Grade Level 1-13, except those on specified essential services and medical personnel.
Also, all social, cultural and religious activities have been suspended while essential activities must not have a crowd beyond 5 persons.
“All public areas, pubs, bars, and restaurants are limited to 5 customers at a time, seated apart in line with the social distancing guidelines. Operators and customers are advised to utilise delivery and takeaway options more during this period.”
The statement pointed out that all transport companies, transport unions, and terminal operators must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers, especially verified phone numbers adding that they must also provide hand-wash stands with soap in the garages and hand sanitizers in the buses.
“Passengers are required to cooperate by washing their hands with soap and water and sanitize them before boarding. They are to be denied boarding if they fail to comply with the hygiene procedures.” the statement stressed.
“All corporate premises and large businesses in the state must keep visitors registers as well as take the temperature checks of guests and visitors using a non-contact infra-red thermometer. Any guest with a high temperature above 38 degrees Celsius must be reported immediately.”
The governor warned that any wilful breach of these guidelines like unjustified inflation of prices of any essential commodity and the making or spreading of fake news or hate speech during this period of the trial will be regarded as sabotage and punished accordingly.