Coronavirus: CHAN Appeals to FG, States for collaboration in fight against disease
…as Abia restricts public from court premises
Christian Uche Anokwuru, a Clergy and Abia State chairman, Christian Hospital Association of Nigeria (CHAN) has appealed to both the Federal and state governments to carry all hospitals in the country along to collectively fight and curb the coronavirus, now ravaging the entire world.
Anokwuru, who is also the Administrator, Madonna Hospital, Umuahia, made the appeal in his office while speaking with journalists, and noted that this was not the time to segregate against state or federal hospitals. He said it was a time to carry everyone along in the provision of basic hospital needs so that the war against coronavirus could be collective and total.
“I expect government to assist hospitals, whether private, Moslem or Christian hospitals by providing basic kits like non-contact thermometer, facial masks, sanitizers and soaps. This is not the time to leave us to our fate,” he said.
On its part, Abia State judiciary has barred members of the public from accessing court premises, as part of efforts to ward off the dreaded virus from personnel of the courts.
He regretted that prices of facial masks and sanitizers have gone up by over 100% in the market, noting that if Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) and private hospitals were left to their fate at this time it would not augur well for the fight against coronavirus.
“As I speak, the facial masks we bought for seven thousand Naira have now gone up to twenty-seven thousand Naira; sanitizers have also gone up. We need help,” he said.
Anokwuru, who is also the Health Coordinator Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, maintained that the few centres set up for the test of coronavirus and other related viruses across the country of almost 200 million people were not enough, and called on governments at all level at this time to be proactive adding that the centres right now were necessary in all states.
The Catholic Church Clergy called on the federal and state governments to do more in sensitizing the people, disclosing that most people living in rural areas were ignorant about the virus.
“It is unbelievable that some people do not believe that coronavirus is in Nigeria and is real,” he said, noting that serious enlightenment was needed. “I commend China for being proactive by containing the virus and I call on the Nigerian government to intensify efforts now that the spread is not much,” he said.
He however commended the Federal Government for the efforts put in place like closure of schools, churches, mosques and public places, while he appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to the World Health Organization’s standard practice of regular washing of hands, maintaining social distance, regular use of sanitizers and wearing facial masks.
In a bid to safeguard the health of court personnel and users, Onuoha A.K Ogwe, the Chief Judge if Abia State has said that members of the general public are no longer allowed into the court premises, with immediate effect.
A statement signed by Victoria C. Ananaba, Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice, Umuahia said that those exempted from the directive are people who come to file urgent matters and applications.
It however said that in all cases, only parties whose cases are to be heard, their witnesses and counsels would be allowed into the High and Magistrate Courts in Abia at any sitting time, subject to a maximum of 20 persons.
It further directed that persons should keep distance of at least one metre to each other as recommended by World Health Organization (WHO).
The statement further said that in criminal matters, only remand/bail applications and overnight cases would be heard while in civil cases only ex-parte and urgent applications would be entertained.
Also to be entertained would be adoption of written addresses while judgments and rulings would be read, adding that further directives would be issued as the situation improves.