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The Kwara State Government has vowed to sanction residents going out without face mask as from July 31, 2020, noting that the use of face mask in public places is now mandatory.
The government decried the spike in the novel coronavirus in recent times, saying that people now wilfully violate COVID-19 protocols.
This much was contained in a statement by Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor today in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
According to him, “Residents of Kwara State must use face mask in public places, keep physical distancing or stay indoors beginning from Friday July 31st, the government announced on Monday, tracing the spike in cases of COVID-19 largely to people not adhering to safety protocols.
“The government added that violators of the latest directive — including shop owners and drivers of commercial or private vehicles —risk arrest and prosecution from July 31st under the Kwara State Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020.
“As at yesterday Sunday July 19th, we have recorded 585 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Out of this, 367 are active while 204 had since been successfully managed and discharged to rejoin their families. We have also recorded 14 deaths so far.”
Speaking further, he said: “While testing of more samples has played a key role in the spike of the figures, the truth is that most of our people are simply not complying with safety measures put in place including physical distancing and the use of face mask despite the earlier mass production and distribution of face masks to members of the public.
“The rising cases represent a grave danger to not just public health but also to public resources and infrastructure which are already being stretched. Whereas the government is doubling up its advocacy across all media platforms, including jingles and radio programmes, the time has come for everyone to take full responsibility and act more responsibly as we confront this pandemic.
“Consequently, effective this Friday 24th July, 2020, nobody would be allowed into any public building, markets, malls, transport, banks and so on without their proper use of the face masks as a safety measure to lessen the transmission of the virus.
“By Friday July 31st, 2020, however, the government would commence strict enforcement of the Kwara State Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020. Thenceforth, anyone seen outside without proper use of the face mask will be arrested, prosecuted in a mobile court, and taken to any of our quarantine centres.
“Their samples will then be taken and they will be held until their status is known. We want to emphasise that shop owners or business managers, drivers of commercial or private vehicles who allow persons without face masks into their shops or vehicles would be arrested alongside offending passengers and be taken to quarantine centres, have their samples taken and be held until their result is out.”