COVID-19: Abia Govt bans public gatherings

Chris Ezem, chairman of Abia’s interdepartmental committee , announced this at a stakeholder meeting in Umuahia.
He said the ban was necessary because the disease needed to be addressed when the second wave of COVID-19 affected .
Ezem, who is also the foreign minister, said the government would take the measures implemented in the first wave to limit the spread of the pandemic.
He said failure to comply with government policies could lead to a complete blockade.
Ezem said the government plans to set a day on “Abia COVID-19 Day,” which is designed to raise public awareness about COVID-19 and the need to adhere to safety protocols.
He said the second wave of COVID-19 should be taken seriously as the Nigerian Center for Disease Control () diaries became daunting.
Noting that people’s lives remain more sacred than anything else, he added that wearing masks in public is negotiable.
In his comments, Dr. Joe Osuji, the state health commissioner, said the country had registered 1,015 cases in the first nine months of the pandemic and recorded more than 300 cases since January.
Calling for non-pharmaceutical interventions, Osuji noted that recent developments call for collective action against the disease.
He said community testing and sampling would continue in all 17 local government areas.
John Oki Kalu, Chief Information Commissioner, resented the public’s attitude toward non-compliance with the NCDC’s security protocol.
Okiy Kalu praised the security agencies, religious authorities and traditional rulers for their efforts during the first wave, saying the latest developments needed more action.
Kalu appealed to religious authorities to ensure strict adherence to NCDC safety protocols and to provide hand washing and disinfecting facilities for its members.
Previously, the state epidemiologist Peace Nwogwugwu state had explained the degree of ignorance that most members of the public displayed about the disease.
Nwogwugwu explained that simple personal hygiene, often wearing face masks, and maintaining social distancing were good preventive measures.
He revealed that most of the COVID-19 cases were caused by ignorance between people.
Nwogwugwu added that frequent testing, as well as contact tracing, could help prevent further spread of the disease.
During the briefing after the meeting, Ezem said, “All schools, churches, business centers, markets and restaurants are expected to have a sign on their chairs at the entrance that says ‘NO FASCAS, NO ENTERANCE’.”
“All transportation regulations remain according to plan, because the tricycle called Keke cannot carry more than two people, while minibuses can only carry four passengers and nine buses.
“The hospitality industry must run a wholesale business at home and have a ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy, while all non-business owners pay a fine of NON 100,000 before reopening.
“Attendance at weddings or funerals should be no more than 50 people, while traditional rulers in all parishes and heads of local government should form working groups to oversee them.”
He said the government had set up a mobile court to prosecute policymakers “no masks, no entry”, adding that anyone who did not appear would be fined 5,000.
Ezem urged philanthropists to help the government fight COVID-19 by donating face masks and other essential items to students in the state.

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