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Doubt existence of COVID-19 at your peril, Masari warns

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• Kwara reverses order on vehicular movement
• Court sentences lockdown violators to community service

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has warned against ignoring the social distancing order given by the government to curtail the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying those doubting the existence of the disease do so at their own risk.

Masari was speaking during the commissioning and hand over of an isolation centre by the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume, at the General Hospital, Daura.

The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) donated the centre, which was an intensive care unit (ICU) before it was upgraded. According to him, some people who choose to doubt the existence of the disease put others at risk.

“If you have doubts about the disease, your neighbour doesn’t, which makes it a responsibility for you to protect the lives of your neighbours.

“The whole world is undergoing severe stress because of COVID-19. Those in doubt would continue to jeopardise the health and well-being of the majority,” he said.

The minister lauded NLTF for providing the facilities, which he said would go a long way in catering for patients in the area. The Executive Secretary, NLTF, Dr. Bello Maigari, said the isolation centre was the agency’s contribution towards combating the disease in the state.

Meanwhile, the Kwara State government has reversed its earlier decision for vehicular movement in the state from 10a.m. to 2p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.

With the new order, residents can only purchase food items in the neighbourhood, which is either an open space or school, while unauthorised vehicles are totally banned. The neighbourhood shops are authorised to open on Mondays and Fridays between 8a.m. and noon.

The Deputy Governor/Chairman COVID-19 Committee, Mr. Kayode Alabi, stated this yesterday at a press briefing in Ilorin. A magistrate court in Ilorin presided over by Bio Saliu has sentenced three violators of the government’s lockdown order to one month community service. Amos Phillip, Babangida Dontatin and Baroye Abel, who are sawmill operators, are to sweep the premises of the Kwara State High Court between 9a.m. and 1p.m. daily from today.

The magistrate, in his ruling, told the convicts that failure to comply with the judgement was another offence, as officers of the correctional services would supervise the community service. He also said that the violators had right of appeal within 30 days, adding that they should produce guarantor/surety that would liaise with the court and police to make them appear for their punishment.

The First Information Report (FIR) of the police had it that the violators were arrested by the police patrol team led by SP Olaoye Akinwale at Sawmill area of Ilorin metropolis while engaging in commercial activities against the stay-at-home order of the government.

The violators, who are first time offenders, had pleaded guilty to the offences after the complaint was read to them and later pleaded for mercy after their conviction, saying they would henceforth obey the order of the government.


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Aminu MasariCOVID-19ICU
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