• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Coronavirus: Abia bans all night club activities


Abia State Government has banned all night club activities in the state till further notice.

This followed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s approval of the implementation measures proposed by the State Inter-ministerial Committee on Coronavirus, to curtail the spread of the virus in Abia.

The committee in a statement, signed by Chris Ezem, secretary to State Government, Joe Osuji, commissioner for Health and John Okiyi Kalu, commissioner for Information, stated that the state government had directed all public and private primary and secondary schools in the state to conclude their examinations on or before Friday, March 27, 2020.

In the interim, Ikpeazu ordered the state ministry of education in conjunction with that of health to ensure that the distribution of hand washing materials and sanitizers to schools is expedited and concluded, while private schools were expected to provide similar items in their schools or risk immediate closure.

The state government also directed all market associations in the state to ensure that members provide running water and sanitisers for customers and traders in their shops within 48 hours or risk immediate closure.

Operators of abattoirs in the state are also to comply with this directive.

Residents of the state were also advised to practise social distancing, by sitting/standing a minimum of 1.5m apart , while discussing with each other, maintain good hygiene practices and general environmental awareness.

The Government has also banned burial, wedding and other ceremonies that involve over 30 persons for the next four weeks.

Religious worship centres in the state are to ensure that for the next four weeks, not more than 50 persons should attend any of their worship streams and programmes with a minimum sitting or standing distance of 1.5m apart from each other.

Henceforth, all tricycles (Keke) operators in the state have been ordered to carry only a maximum of 2 passengers per trip and they must sit at the back with only the rider in front.

Mini buses popularly called “Oke Bekee” are to carry only 5 passengers per trip, while 14-seater buses are to carry only a maximum of 5 passengers per trip with none in front except the driver.

All inter-state bus parks or terminals must procure and deploy digital thermometers for screening of inbound and outbound passengers, as well as provide hand sanitizers and hand washing materials for use, by all staff and passengers or risk immediate closure.

The state government also advised Abians and other residents to strongly shelve non-essential travels and movements till further notice.

It also ordered that all hotels and hospitality establishments in the state must screen guests/staff and provide hand sanitizers before they are lodged or allowed access into their facilities, while suspicious guests are to be reported immediately with full personal details and contact information.

It also urged Local Government chairmen to immediately hire town criers to continuously educate people on how to prevent and protect themselves from Coronavirus, noting that failure to launch this grassroots information service within 48 hours will attract sanctions.

The state government also promised to engage town unions to further sensitize the people on the need to maintain good hygiene and protect themselves from Coronavirus.

It also advised all Abians, visitors and residents to call the Abia Tele-Health Center via 0700 ABIA DOC or 0700 2242 362 for enquiries on Coronavirus and reporting of health concerns.

Those who suspect that they have symptoms of Coronavirus were strongly advised to call the Abia Tele-Health number 07002242362 for dispatch of ambulances or mobile clinics to pick them up.

“We strongly advise against suspected patients showing up at medical facilities in the state without going through the call and pick up services to avoid inadvertently infecting the others in our medical facilities.

“All 8 state-owned ambulances, 4 mobile clinics and private ambulances, have been positioned across the 3 geopolitical zones of the state for rapid response. The staff have also been properly trained with personal protection materials provided”.

The Abia State government also announced plans to immediately expand the state’s free home care for elderly persons programme to ensure that they visit senior citizens at home and provide necessary care to them.

It also directed that the ongoing pensioners’ verification exercise, must be concluded and shut down on Friday, March 27, 2020, while in the interim, sanitizers and hand washing facilities must continue to be provided at all locations.

“All MDAs, parastatals and LGA offices in the state are to operate at a maximum of 20 percent staff strength, from Monday, March 30th, 2020, as determined by the head until further notice. All other workers are to stay at home from where they will continue to receive due wages.

The state ministry of transport was also directed to set up appropriate surveillance system to monitor railway stations and inter-state bus terminals in the state.

Meanwhile, an enforcement committee that will ensure full compliance with these orders has been set up with the following coordinators, Solomon Ogunji (chairman),  Onyi Wamah, Sopuruchi Beke, KCK Nwangwa, Ekele Nwaohamuo, Jonathan Osuji, Felix Chinwendu Joe, Alfa Jibrin, Meshach Jatau, Uba Nwugha, Bright Ikeokwu, Ezinwa Abiri, Kingsley Nnaji and Obinna Friday as members.

The committee however emphasised that there are no recorded cases of Coronavirus in Abia, as at Wednesday, and continued to hope and pray that God will keep the state free of the virus, while working hard to put necessary measures in place to protect all and sundry.

They however advised citizens, residents and visitors to take individual measures to protect themselves and loved ones, as well as, strictly follow the guidance from the committee and medical professionals.