COVID-19 Second Wave: Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma on Sunday announced the shutdown of the state secretariat till further notice and cautioned residents to avoid gathering more than 100 persons in the state.
The governor who made the announcement during a live broadcast revealed new measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 due to its resurgence in the state.
“I want to emphasise that there is an absolute need to avoid gathering of crowds of more than 100 people anywhere in the state. Where such crowds must gather, those involved MUST wear face masks. There should be wash handstands readily available with alcohol-based sanitisers at such gatherings.
“To further strengthen safety measures, all government workers are to stay at home from tomorrow, Monday, December 21, till further notice, except for permanent secretaries and political appointees. This means that the state secretariat, which is a major crowd puller, will remain closed, from tomorrow until further notice,” the governor said.
Governor Uzodinma also ordered the compulsory use of face masks in public, noting that, “mobile courts have been deployed all over the state to try any person caught without wearing face masks.”
Explaining the importance of the measures, the governor noted that there is a global resurgence of the dreaded virus with the reopening of international flights and the nonchalant attitude of many towards COVID-19 precautions.
“Since October the number of cases in the country, which hitherto seemed to be reducing, has been on a rapid rise. From 225 confirmed new cases in October, the number has risen to a frightful level of 77,933 in December. Yesterday, 19th December alone 920 new confirmed cases were recorded in the country, with six deaths.
“Recent PCR-Based tests carried out in the state in accordance with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), reveal a frightful upward surge in the curve of the confirmed case.
“Already the effect of this frightful global resurgence and spike in COVID-19 infections is manifest in the country and Imo State. A general complacency and false sense of safety amongst our people to COVID-19 19 safety protocols remain the order of the day,” he explained.
Governor Uzodinma said therefore drastic steps must be taken to stop the trend and avert imminent danger posed by the human traffic surge in the interest of everyone.
He directed that all COVID-19 safety protocols will be strictly enforced.
These include the provision of wash handstands and sanitisers in markets and worship places.
He said any person or persons caught not observing these safety protocols will be prosecuted in the mobile courts.