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Coronavirus: Groups tell Kwara governor to relax lockdown

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Some Civil Society Organisations have urged the governor of Kwara State, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq to relax the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

According to a statement released by the groups on Monday, the appeal is to enable economic activities in the state to thrive.

The groups are Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), Haashim Initiative for Community Advancement (HICA), Theios Caregivers Initiative, Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE), Grassroots Development Monitoring and Advocacy Center (GDMAC), and Civil Rights and Development (CIRDEV).

Others are Resource Centre, Brain Builders International (BBI), Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), and Meadows Community and Development Outreach (MDCO).

They advised Mr Abdulrazaq on how to manage the spread of the disease amid the free movement of citizens.

The statement read: “We salute your pro-active step that led to the order of various forms of lockdown within the State, which were aimed at preventing the transmission of the contagious COVID-19 among Kwarans. You have also alleviated hunger and other negative impacts of the lockdown by making provision for palliatives (food items or money) to highly vulnerable people across the State.

“However, the lockdown, despite being in good faith with its positive impacts on the fight against COVID-19, is not sustainable and needs to be immediately reviewed”, the groups told the Governor. We further provided suggestions to the Governor on how to manage the lockdown review and free movement of citizens within the state.

“We are suggesting the following measures to actualize the review: all the land borders of Kwara State should be closed and no traveler should be allowed into the State until the country is declared COVID-19 free; returning indigents of Kwara State (who might be allowed) should be compulsorily quarantined by the KWSG and tested for COVID-19 before being released to mingle with family, friends and other citizens.

“Movement within Kwara State should be allowed to resume while social distancing and other preventive measured should be enforced; commercial, educational, government and other activities should be made to resume; mass production of face-mask from local fabrics by the KWSG or private firms, which should be sold to Kwarans at the rate of fifty naira (₦50).

“The use of face-mask should be made compulsory and enforced on all citizens who wish to move on the streets of Kwara State, and the KWSG should partner with counseling psychologists in the handling of traumatic issues that could affect infected persons in isolation and stigmatization of healed persons.”

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