Abia state Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu
Abia state Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has announced more stringent steps to be taken by his administration in the fight against COVID-19 in the State.
The governor who made these new steps public Saturday at a media briefing expressed deep concern that in spite of the fact that Abia has recorded two index cases of the pandemic which has resulted to very aggressive contact tracing by officers of the State Ministry of Health, a good number of our citizens still find it difficult to heed to the stay-at home directives made by the government.
Gov. Ikpeazu noted that so far, 237 contacts have been successfully traced by epidemiologists from the State Ministry of Health across three local governments of Ukwa West, Ikwuano and Umuahia North.
The Governor then announced the following fresh measures: –
“Dusk –to-Dawn curfew is hereby declared in the state. The implication of this is that with effect from Sunday, April 26th, 2020, no form of movement of people shall be allowed in the State from 6pm in the evening till 6am in the morning.
“This curfew shall BE IN ADDITION to the existing lockdown in the state. Within the period of the curfew, no form of economic activity shall be allowed. Local Government Areas Transition Committee Chairmen shall monitor the compliance of the curfew in their respective local government areas.
“In view of the challenges faced by our epidemiologists in the tracing of some of the contacts of our index cases in some communities, especially in UMUORIE of Ukwa West LGA, the Governor has ordered the Transition Committee Chairman of Ukwa West and the Traditional Ruler of the relevant Community to ensure that the health officers are granted unfettered access and cooperation to do their work. Failure to do this will result to immediate suspension for both the Chairman and the Traditional Ruler.
“Also in a bid to do a comprehensive and effective contact tracing in the three Local Government Areas of Ukwa West, Ikwuano and Umuahia North, these local governments shall be on TOTAL LOCKDOWN for Seven days, effective from midnight on Sunday, 26th April 2020. The respective Local Government Chairmen in these areas shall be held personally responsible should any lapses occur. According to the Governor, the people of Abia State cannot allow the ineptitude or carelessness of a few to put our collective well-being in jeopardy.
“The use of face masks in Abia state is compulsory and defaulters shall be apprehended and prosecuted by the Mobile Courts established for that purpose. The Courts shall commence sitting from Monday, 27th April 2020.
“On the distribution of palliatives, the Governor ordered the Secretary to Government to expand the membership of the Committee to include Transition Committee Chairmen of Local Government Areas, all Honorable Commissioners, Christian Association of Nigeria, Traditional Rulers, Civil Society Organizations, Women Journalists, Presidents General of Town Unions and Development Associations, etc.
The Committee shall embark on the distribution of further palliatives from Community to Community, starting from next week.
“Also the Association of citizens of Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States will also be reached while special provisions shall be made for other groups like artisans, mechanics, bus and keke drivers.
“The Governor also acknowledged the receipt of 1800 bags of Rice from the Federal Government and stated that the supplies will be examined to ascertain their wholesomeness, after which our people shall be briefed on the modalities for their distribution.
“On the receipt of a number of face masks from the NCDC, the Governor made it clear that Abia state has attained self- sufficiency in the local production of face masks and there won’t be any need for any imported face masks and PPEs in Abia State.
“The Governor expressed his deep gratitude and those of the entire citizens of our state to our Frontline workers, describing them as our REAL HEROES.