By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
Kwara State yesterday announced an extention of the total lockdown of the stae by two weeks, just as the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazq, flagged off the registration of transporters in the stateto be given loans.
Announcing the extention of the lock down at the flag off ceremony, the governor said the lockdown by another 14 days was to flatten the curve of transmission of COVID-19, in accordance with the position of the Federal Government and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF.
He disclosed that Kwara State recorded two new cases of COVID-19 early Thursday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the state to 11.
The two new cases he said, were contacts of the previous confirmed cases.
AbdulRazaq said, “The lockdown for another two weeks is to reduce the number of cases. As you can see, Kano is going up, Lagos is going up. Even in Kwara, we have two more new cases. So, there is need for boundaries to lockdown.
“Essentially, each state has different policies on lockdown, but we want to ensure that people are not moved across boundaries to transmit the virus.”
The governor reitrated that the internal restrictions on vehicular movements in the state remain in force, while government would step up to gradually lift the restrictions and rejuvenate the economy, including mandatory use of face masks which would soon be distributed.
He said the face masks would be mass-produced by indigenous tailors, who have already been briefed.
Meanwhile, transporters marked for the soft loans might get between N5,000 and N10,000 and would be refunded in trickles long after the COVID-19 crisis would have been over.
The loan scheme would also offer the government an opportunity to get accurate data of people in the informal sector for proper planning, he said, adding that the programme was going on simultaneously with other components of the Kwara State Investment Programme, KWASSIP, to lessen the impact of the economic downturn on the people.
“We’re happy to be here to fulfil our promise of having some form of safety net (for the poor). This is about carrying everybody along and leaving no one behind,” the governor said.