In an effort to spare the state from the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic being experienced in the country and other parts of the world, the Niger State Government has directed all civil servants to stay at home from Monday, December 21, 2020.

The government also directed that all schools, private and public, including tertiary institutions in the state be closed effective from Friday, December 18.

A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman, Niger State Task Force on COVID-19 Pandemic, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, said the closure followed an upsurge of COVID-19 in the country.

So far, Niger State has recorded 338 cases of COVID-19 with 37 currently on admission while 289 cases have been discharged.

According to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) the state has lost 12 persons to the virus.

Matane explained that the second wave of coronavirus in the country necessitated the closure of all schools in the State for the period of thirty days.

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“In order to curb the spread of COVID-19 Pandemic in the State due to the spike, the State Government has directed that all Civil Servants are to stay at home from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till further notice except those on essential services.”

The SSG urged residents of the State to quickly return to the use of face masks, physical and social distancing, so as to help stem the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He stressed that coronavirus was still very much around.

Matane lamented that inspite of massive advocacy and sensitization by the Government on the pandemic, people were still flouting the coronavirus guidelines at worship centres, banks, markets and motor parks across the State.

“We will be forced to take the painful decision of bringing the State under the COVID-19 Preventive, Containment and Emergency Order if it remains clear that Nigerlites are determined to flout the rules”, Ahmed Matane stated.