• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Abia inaugurates committees to stem COVID-19 transmission

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Abia State Government, Wednesday, launched COVID-19 sensitisation committees in the 17 Local Government Areas of the State, geared towards stopping community transmission of the disease.

John Okiyi-Kalu, Commissioner for Information, Abia State, while addressing journalists at the Aba South Local Government secretariat, venue of the launch, explained that the move marks another level in government’s sensitization effort against Coronavirus.

He stated that the State Government is aware that the fight against the deadly virus is not over, and therefore needed to take sensitization to Abia communities, stressing that people need constant information to stay safe.

“What we have done today is to launch the Community sensitization team for every local government. As it’s happening here, it’s happening in 16 other LGAs.

“What we expect from this team inaugurated today, is to be driving around every community in Abia State with vehicles mounted with public address system, talking to people and passing information locally”.

He stated that the committee s will apply and utilize every local system of communication necessary and peculiar to certain areas, to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the effort to ensure information about COVID-19 gets to the people.

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“All the town criers and every information management structure that exists in our communities will be deployed to sensitize our people on the prevention and control of COVID-19.

“It’s part of our ongoing efforts to break the chain of transmission in the state. We’ve already launched community testing, which is ongoing. Abia is the first state in the Southeast region to launch Community Testing”, he stated.

Okiyi-Kalu warned transporters and passengers that flout COVID-19 protocols to desist from the act or face the consequences.

According to him, the State police command has been mandated to arrest and ensure the arraignment of all those who deliberately flout COVID-19 protocols, like wearing of face masks and social distancing.

“Henceforth, any tricycle carrying more than two passengers and not putting on a facemask is in breach of COVID-19 protocols and should be arrested.

“Any passenger, who joins a tricycle that already has two passengers is in breach of the same protocol and will also be arrested.

“While we recognize that carrying two passengers as against the usual four will naturally lead to price adjustment, it’s unconscionable for you to flout the rule with another rule flouter and still talk against them.

“We believe that this problem can easily be solved if our people take the fight against COVID-19 serious.

“Nobody should buy or sell to anybody who’s not putting on a facemask. It’s important that at our individual levels, we take responsibility and do the needful.

“Passengers and tricycle operators, who don’t follow the rules are all on the same boat. We’ve empowered the state police command to use a more extensive system that’s by far greater than what we had in the past. A lot of those breaking the rules will soon become very uncomfortable”.

Chris Ezem, secretary to Abia State Government and chairman, State’s COVID-19 Committee, called on members of the public to take their destinies in their hands and be ambassadors of the fight against Coronavirus in their various communities.

Ezem warned against tolerance of people, who flout the protocol, without necessary corrections from their fellow citizens, stressing that every member of a community must now help to instruct all those flouting protocols to obey them.

“The message should immediately start from our homes. We must start preaching it from our homes, markets, churches, and all gatherings. We can’t watch other people not observing protocols and infect everyone. Every buyer and seller must avoid falling victim to these protocols”.

His Royal Majesty, Eze Ibe Eleanzu (Ogele Ukwu), chairman, Abia South Traditional Rulers Council,  thanked the state government for its efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and assured that the Royal Fathers will do their part in ensuring that every necessary information gets to their people.