Ikpeazu urges Abia residents for compliance with COVID-19 lockdown
By Joe Akwarandu, Umuahia
The Abia state Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has pleaded that non-essential workers to comply fully with government’s directive of stay-at-home, so as to curtail the coronavirus pandemic that is currently ravaging the whole world from coming into Abia.
In a state broadcast on April 1, the Governor said the Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 has been working tirelessly to ensure the scourge of coronavirus do not come into the state, by putting up adequate measures to fight its occurrence, stating that it would be inhumane on the part of Abians, if they flaunt the measures put in place to curtail the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
According to him, food sellers, grocery stores/supermarkets, banks, medical practitioners, gas/petrol stations, media, lawmakers, government appointees, security agencies as well as those who provide essential services are exempted from the lock down.
To further actualize 100% compliance, the Governor said forthwith, no burial, religious activities, weddings or ceremonies of any colouration would be allowed, pleading specifically with religious houses to comply to this directive or face the risk of being closed down indefinitely.
He said the Committee for COVID-19 has laid down plans on how to distribute foods items to people during this period, pointing out that already the state has mapped out how they would use the donations made to the state.
Governor Ikpeazu, stated that for the N28.5 million naira donation made by the UBA Foundation, it would be used to equip the Isolation centers in Amachara General Hospital and others, while the 850 bags of rice donated by Gregory Ibe would be shared 50 bags each across the 17 LGAs in the state.
He added that control kits like the hand sanitizers, hand gloves and face mask would be given to essential workers to protect themselves while on duty.
The Governor however pleaded with Transition Committee Chairmen in the state as well as Traditional rulers to join in the fight against coronavirus by helping to sensitize their community members through the use of regular town criers, on the need to maintain a high level of hygiene.
Ikpeazu frowned at the rate traders as well as fuel dealers inflated the prices of their products stressing that taskforce has been set up to guide against these and anyone caught would be severely dealt with.
He further advised Abians not to engage in panic buying as those dealing on essential commodities would not be closed down, urging them to report any suspected case of coronavirus, avoid self medication as well as observe regularly hand washing with soap while praying God to guide and protect everyone.