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Edo COVID-19 team convicts 19 for facemask violation

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

The Edo state government on Tuesday embarked on monitoring of schools, especially private schools, churches and markets where it enforced the use of facemasks, hand sanitizers among others in line with the COVID-19 protocols for prevention in the spread of the disease.

The state government team including members of Edo state COVID-19 response, security agencies, Red Cross Society, among others, visited various schools and markets across Benin metropolis and the state at large to ensure compliance with the government’s directive as many of the schools visited were in compliance with the directive.

Meanwhile the leader of the COVID 19 team, Mrs Irene Uabor including the risk commucation officer for NCDC, Mr Simon Idoko. However. warned the school authorities against flouting the state government directive, adding that those who flouted government’s directive will be faced with the punishments.

At various markets in Benin City, it was observed that defaulters were more in number as they were arrested and dragged before the Edo State mobile court. Investigation revealed that the state recorded over 400 percent increase in confirmed cases with 73 new cases, three deaths and 46 recoveries under 72 hours.

The state COVID-19 incident manager, Dr Andrew Obi, who spoke to journalists in Benin City noted that the state recorded a difference of 907 confirmed cases in the first nine weeks of the second wave when compared with the number of confirmed cases within same timeframe during the first wave of the pandemic, representing over 400 percent increase in confirmed cases.

Obi noted “our statistics show that Edo state is facing a more violent strain of the disease in the second wave than the first as well as all indices including deaths case positivity and numbers of infections are higher in the second wave than the first one and comparing the first nine weeks of the first wave and that we have a difference of 907 more case which is over 400 percent increase confirmed cases.”

He added that Edo North and Central Senatorial districts recorded the highest figures in the state, particularly Esan Central and Owan East local government areas and that, in the last 73 hours, the state recorded 73 new cases, confirmed three deaths and 48 recoveries from the coronavirus disease with 609 active cases.

Also, a mobile court sitting in Benin City, presided over by Chief Magistrate Bright Eraze Oniha, has convicted 19 persons for violating the directives on compulsory use of facemasks and restrictions of movement between 10pm and 5am.

After they pleaded guilty to the offence and begged for leniency, the court convicted the 19 persons to three hours of community service within the premises of the Edo State High court with option of N2,000 fine. The convicted persons were arrested at Aduwawa, Ring Road and New Benin Market in Benin City.

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