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COVID-19: Abia Govt ban public gathering again

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Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia

The Abia State government has reinstated the ban on public gatherings and compulsory wearing of face masks in public places as the second wave of COVID-19 takes its toll on Nigeria.

The Chairman State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem made the revelation at a meeting with Abia traditional rulers council, religous leaders, security agencies and some selected stakeholders in Umuahia, the state capital.

Ezem said the state will map out a day in the coming days to observe Abia COVID-19 Awareness Day, which will see stakeholders and Abians on the streets of the state helping to lay emphasis on the need to observe the COVID-19 protocols.

The SSG said the second wave of COVID-19 cannot be taken for granted noting that the lives of Abians are sacred and deserve protection.

He further revealed that Abia is returning to status quo with regard to initial measures taken to contain the spread of the virus during the first wave and warned that non-compliance could lead to total lockdown.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Osuji revealed that the first nine months of  the pandemic has seen  Abia Record 1015 positive cases, while it has recorded over 300 cases between January and now, noting that this record calls for serious actions.

The state Epidemiologist, Peace Nwogwugwu and former Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Caroline Iwuoha decried the high level of doubt about the reality of the virus among Abians and explained that simple personal hygiene, frequent wearing of face masks and social distancing are good preventive measures against the virus.

Speaking, the Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu who frowned at the attitude of people towards observing COVID-19 protocols applauded security agencies, religious bodies and traditional rulers for their efforts during the first wave and said the second wave requires even more attention.

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