COVID-19: FCTA releases new guidelines on lockdown in Abuja, bans okada

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has released new guidelines on the cessation of movement in the FCT following a review of the effects and level of compliance of the lockdown of Abuja.

This is part of measures to contain the spread of COVID 19 in the FCT.

A statement made available to media houses on Wednesday, signed by Anthony Ogunleye, the Chief Press Secretary to FCT Minister said new observations have been made and new directives issued by the FCT COVID-19 Security Committee chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello.

According to the statement, the directives are, “The FCT has been quite fortunate to have maintained a relatively stable number of COVID- 19 positive cases and the FCT Administration is making efforts to ensure that there is no escalation in the number of positive cases returned from the Territory;

“While the level of compliance has been satisfactory at the Federal Capital City (FCC) over the first few days of the lockdown, the same cannot be said about the satellite towns located at the various area councils where residents there have largely ignored the lockdown directive;

“However, over the past few days, adherence to the lockdown directives at the City Center has also deteriorated;

“Residents have used the excuse of going to the markets to flout the lockdown directives and traders selling non-essential food commodities have also used this window to open their shops in clear violation of the directives not to do so;

“Despite the directives that residents should patronize neighborhood shops and markets within their districts and not move from one district to the other to buy their essential items in order to minimize movement of people and vehicles across the city, this has largely been flouted as well;

“In order to ensure that the FCT does not witness an escalation in the number of COVID-19 positive cases and prevent a public health emergency, the FCT Administration has resolved on the following new measures to enforce the cessation of movement and ensure its compliance by residents of the FCT. They include the following;

“Market operational days are henceforth reduced to two days in a week namely Wednesdays and Saturdays only;

“Residents should patronize only neighborhood markets as movement from one district to the other now constitutes a violation of the lockdown;

“Mobile courts will now be activated to try all violators of the directive on the cessation of movement across the FCT;

“Motorcycles (Okada) are henceforth barred from operating anywhere in Kubwa and Dutse Alhaji during the lockdown;

“The FCTA will step up sensitization efforts especially in the rural communities and enjoins Area Council, Chairmen, traditional rulers and community leaders to actively engage in sensitizing the populace on the dangers of COVID -19;

“The FCT Administration remains deeply committed to ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic remains controlled in the FCT and seeks the cooperation of all residents in curtailing its spread especially into our rural and suburban communities.”

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