Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has directed the Commissioner of Police to enforce compulsory use of face masks in all parts of the State, including rural communities, and to detain for hours anyone flouting the order.
It has also coordinated village heads, youth presidents and local government council chairmen to ensure enforcement of the use of face masks and strict adherence to other COVID-19 protocols in rural communities in the State.
The Secretary to State Government and Chairman, COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, who announced this while giving an update on COVID-19, at Government House, Uyo on Monday, warned that civil servants across the State would no longer be permitted into their respective offices without a face mask
Ekuwem declared that anyone caught violating the order would be detained for hours to serve as a deterrent to others.
‘We have noticed with dismay, the manifest flouting of the regulation requiring the use of face masks. As a responsible government, we must act to curb the spread of the virus and protect our citizens and residents. To this end, the Governor has directed the State Commissioner of Police to order the monitoring teams to enforce this protocol to the letter.
‘We urge our citizens to take personal responsibility by properly wearing their face masks and maintaining social distancing. All citizens and residents are urged to comply with the AKSG/NCDC/WHO COVID-19 Guidelines and protocols. For emphasis, we must all note the need for:
‘We insist on Social distancing wherever people are gathered (churches, markets, schools, hotels, funerals, etc.); wearing of face masks, frequent washing of hands, use of sanitizers.
‘Report any case of high body temperature (38oC and above), frequent sneezing, frequent coughing, loss of sense of smell, frequent stooling, breathlessness, etc. to the Isolation Centre in Ituk Mbang General Hospital or to the nearest medical facility,’ he said.
Giving an update on the spread of the virus so far in the state, Ekuwem said: ‘Our statistics as at yesterday are: Total tests conducted – 1721, Total number of confirmed cases – 250, Total number of recoveries – 208, Total number of active cases – 34, Total number of deaths – 8.’
The SSG used the occasion to reiterate that the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has been leading the battle against the pandemic from the frontlines, which accounts for the huge support all critical pillars of the fight have received.
‘He has spared nothing in this fight, but now is the time for individual responsibility – by maintaining high personal hygiene, keeping social distancing and proper use of face masks,’ he assured