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Yola streets, markets deserted amid Adamawa lockdown

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• Residents comply, demand palliatives
• Don’t relax yet, experts tell Katsina govt

Yola, the Adamawa State capital, was a ghost town yesterday, as the streets and markets were deserted.

Commercial motorists and tricycles were also off the road as a result of the lockdown that kicked off midnight of Tuesday.

When The Guardian visited Yoka International Market, shopping malls, old markets and other commercial centres, the gates were locked, with stern-looking security personnel at the gates.

However, commercial banks were offering skeletal services to customers and food shops were selling, with low patronage.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou, stated that decision was painful but necessary to save lives.

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“Governor Ahmadu Fintiri regretted that the directive to workers on grade levels one to 14 to stay at home was not adhered to in the first instance and therefore government is left with no option than to impose the lockdown in the overall interest of the people as COVID-19 continues to spread.”

However, residents have sought the state government’s palliative gestures that would sustain them through the 14-day lockdown.

Some residents told The Guardian that the lockdown order might suffer if the state government refused to consider palliative gestures.

Secretary, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Yola North Council, Danladi Sharibu, was confident that his union would comply with the stay-at-home order, but pleaded with the governor to consider palliative measures for them.

The police had raised a monitoring team headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Musbau Ajani, to assess level of compliance.

Meanwhile, a coalition of healthcare professionals in Katsina State has called on the government not to rest on its oars in making proper preparation against COVID-19, though the state was yet to record an index case.

The group, in a communiqué, stressed the need for preparedness, if the state wanted to escape the current health crises facing several nations of the world.

Groups that make up the coalition include Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), National Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).

Dr. Mohammed Abdulaziz, who read the communiqué to newsmen, lamented the state government’s non-inclusion of healthcare professionals in its preparedness against COVID-19.

The coalition, however, made several recommendations to government on extra measures needed to curtail the virus’ spread.

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