Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government, yesterday, lifted the ban prohibiting the opening of movie houses after about five months of shut down due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The government further relaxed measures for the operation of eateries across the state.
But lounges and clubs remain closed, according to the Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, who announced the relaxations at a press conference in Asaba.
Aniagwu insisted that operators of cinemas and eateries must observe prescribed rules.
Cinemas and movie houses, he said would operate at 50 percent capacity, in addition to constantly fumigating the operating environment and observance of regular protocols of wearing of face masks and washing of hands by movie enthusiasts.
“What this means is that if for instance, the carrying capacity of a hall is 100, the operators should ensure people at a particular session do not exceed 50,” he said
Aniagwu warned operators of hotels, eateries and restaurants not to encourage buffet, explaining that such practice would exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.
“We will monitor these processes to ensure nobody jeopardises the gains we have made so far in curtailing the spread of the virus and flattening its curve.
“We quite sympathise with operators of these businesses for this period of shut down, but we needed to save lives. So, at this level, we believe these businesses can survive while observing the protocols.
“There is more understanding of the virus on the part of the people, and, as such, the initial prejudices about it are reducing.
“We will continue to encourage our people to wear face masks in public and observe other protocols because in as much as we are interested in our economy coming back, we are much more interested in saving lives,” he said.
As at the time of filing this report, the state has recorded 1,780 confirmed cases of the virus, out of which over 1,600 patients have been discharged. 48 deaths have also been recorded.