It is with deep sense of responsibility that I address you once again, on the latest lockdown which commenced at midnight on Saturday 25th April 2020.
You will recall that the order followed the confirmation of a second case of COVID-19 infection in the State. Since then, two more cases have regrettably been confirmed, thereby bringing the total, as at last night, to four (4) in Adamawa State.
Despite being among the lowest in the Federation, this number is alarming considering that the new cases are completely unrelated to the index case.
As a responsible Commander who knows the danger which this trend poses in terms of community transmission, I have ordered an aggressive contact tracing, testing, immediate isolation where necessary and treatment of all patients who ultimately, test positive.
At this point, it is pertinent to state that having passed through one week of the latest lockdown, tremendous progress has been achieved with contacts tracing, samples collection and testing as the practical outcomes.
In this regard, let me sincerely appreciate the tireless effort of the people in the Frontline, especially the State COVID-19 Containment Committee, the courageous health personnel in the surveillance and case management teams and the EOC, in general, Security Agencies and the larger populace for all that you have been doing to ensure that the pandemic does not spread beyond what it is now.
In view of the disruption to Lives and Livelihoods and considering that majority of the people have to go out daily to eke out a living, Government, after due consultations, has agreed to ease the lockdown in line with some of the measures taken by the Federal Government, particularly those that are in consonance with our peculiar situation in Adamawa State.
It is hereby ordered that effective Monday 4th May 2020, there will be a relaxation of the restriction on movements between 6am to 8pm onwards, subject to any further review. In this regard, Government believes that strict adherence to the protocols and guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and adopted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) coupled with aggressive contact tracing will greatly enhance the containment plan.
Citizens shall therefore adhere to the following measures:
1) Frequent and proper handwashing with soap and running water, where possible, alcohol based hand sanitizers should be used;
2) Mandatory wearing of face masks when one goes out and in all gatherings, markets, shops, commercial transport;
3). Adherence to social and physical distancing, and
4). Avoiding crowds of above fifty people in social, cultural and religious gatherings.
The above will greatly help curtail the spread of the virus in our communities.
In accordance with the peculiar situation of the State, offices will open effective Monday 4th May 2020 between 8am and 2pm. Here, we do not foresee that all workers will come to work at the same time as that will go against the extant guidelines.
Consequently, Civil Servants from level 15 and above should report back to Work. For others, the Head of Service will draw up a convenient timetable which workers shall adhere to.
Temperature checks and hand sanitizing protocols shall be strictly adhered to at entry and access points to all offices, just as wearing of face masks is mandatory to gain entrance into public places.
Banks will continue offering skeletal services while ensuring customers adhere to all measures stipulated above.
For the avoidance of doubt, inter-States boarders remain closed and all citizens shall observe the 8:00pm to 6:00am curfew imposed by The President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Law enforcement Agents are hereby reminded to ensure full and total compliance and deal with defaulters in accordance with the Law.
Meanwhile, Schools (whether public or private) shall remain closed. I advise parents to take advantage of our school on radio and television which have been designed to keep our children close to their schooling even with the closures.
We thank our traditional and religious leaders for their show of understanding in ensuring their followers adhere to the limitation in numbers while keeping physical distance at social and religious gatherings.
Tricycles are limited to conveying three (3) people including the rider while the maximum allowed for Taxis, cabs and private vehicles is four(4) including the driver. Buses are also to reduce their passengers to half capacity.
Our Mobile Courts are still very much around to enforce any reprimand prescribed by the Law.
At this juncture, I wish to urge that Community and Religious Leaders should be at the forefront of safeguarding the Society by ensuring that newcomers into our communities are identified and made to self-isolate for 14 days and when they show signs and symptoms, the relevant health workers or the COVID-19 Situation Room should be contacted through the available numbers, already in circulation.
At this point, let me address the rumour on some returnees from Gombe on Friday, 1stMay, 2020. On that fateful day, Gombe State government returned some of our citizens who were on transit through the State and have been quarantined. This was done after they had sent us a list of the returnees. While there, samples were collected, at random, and sent to the lab for testing. Twenty-six (26) out of the total returned were among those sampled, tested and found negative and were released along with those who showed no symptoms after the 14 days.
On Saturday 02/05/2020, the Epidemiological Unit Head in Gombe reported to our team here that two people whose samples were collected and confirmed positive had slipped out before there results was received and they are suspected to be heading to Adamawa, there intended destination.
The details of the individuals did not match anyone on the list we had from Gombe. Of the two, one indicated Mubi as his final destination and the other Lamurde. Search teams were raised to track them down and we were lucky to track the Lamurde bound person in Numan at about 1:30am last night and have picked him up early this morning and is now at the treatment centre.
The one that is Mubi bound, has been tracked to Ngorure, through his phone number but is still at large and his phone has been out of communication for a while. We are using all available means to get him. I can therefore confirm that we now have, as at today, 5 positive cases of COVID-19 in our treatment centre.
Fellow citizens, let me remind you that Coronavirus is fatal but defeatable. You are therefore advised to take all the preventive measures necessary to avoid contracting it.
Finally, it is our personal and collective responsibility to fight the pandemic and no force can stop a people's sheer determination to confront and overcome any adversity and together we shall defeat Corona Virus and banish it from Adamawa State.
Long live Adamawa State,
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.