Geoffrey Anyanwu and Jude Chinedu, Enugu, Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri and Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has confirmed that there was no confirmed case of Coronavirus in any of the South East states.
Umahi, who is chairman of the South-East Governors Forum said the Ebonyi government had put in a number of measures at ensuring the virus was contained and prevented from entering the state.
The governor said before the first record of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Ebonyi government had built two quarantine centres in Abakaliki and at the border between Enugu and Ebonyi in Ishielu Local Government Area.
He said the state-of-the-art Virology Centre in Abakaliki, built in 2016, which was donated to Federal Government for Lassa fever, would be vital for testing for the Coronavirus with the necessary testing kits.
While noting that government had deployed health workers and other public office holders to the grassroots to sensitize the people on the pandemic, he said the government had established COVID -19 team to be coordinated by himself as chairman.
“For now, there is no confirmed report of COVID-19 case in Ebonyi and any state of the South-East.
“However, our government has put in place a number of measures to protect the people. These include shutting down of schools, night clubs, ban on sporting activities, wedding receptions, burial ceremonies and any social gathering with more than 50 persons.
“We have not shut down religious and worship centres, because we have not had any confirmed report of the virus in any part of the South-East.
“From March 25, it shall be an offence for gathering of persons other than essential service centres, including markets, rice meals, religious centres, banks and hotels.
“These service centres must ensure the provision of face masks, running water, hand sanitizers and must ensure that people entering and coming out wash their hands to protect them.
“Churches and religious centres must observe all health precautions to protect their members and the general public,” Umahi said.
He assured that government would explore every necessary avenue to ensure protection of the people against the virus.
He said the state would henceforth record all passengers entering the state from Lagos, Edo and all the South-West states to assist the medical team to monitor and evaluate their health status.
The governor, who urged residents to imbibe best personal health hygiene, said government would procure hand sanitizers and other disinfectants for distribution to those in the hinterlands.
Bars China-returnee from entering Ebonyi
Ebonyi Governor, Chief David Umahi, yesterday barred a man who recently returned from China from entering the state.
The governor warned that he would take drastic action against the man if he dared come into the state without first embarking on self isolation for 14 days.
Umahi who stated this, yesterday, during a state broadcast in Abakaliki, said the man was insisting on returning against family and government’s advice.
Umahi who did not give the name of the man, however, said the China returnee is a driver to one of his exco members.
Daily Sun gathered that the man returned from China on Monday evening and made spirited efforts to return to Ebonyi from Lagos before he was asked not to.
The governor said he had directed the man to isolate himself in a Lagos hotel for 14 days at government’s expense or any place of his choice before returning to the state after going for test.
Enugu bans marriages, burial, other gatherings
Enugu Government has ordered the suspension of marriages, burials and other social and cultural gatherings in the state.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who announced the suspension in a state broadcast directed all public officers/civil servants with the exception of health workers, Forest Guards, Neighbourhood Watch personnel, Water Corporation staff, Waste Management operatives, staff of Enugu State Emergency Management Agency, Fire Fighters and all those involved in other essential services, to work from their homes.
Ugwuanyi, who also announced the closure of all educational institutions in the state said the additional safety measures which is with immediate effect, was reached after due consultation with the State Multi-sectoral Rapid Response Team, Security Agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
He said the other cultural and social gatherings suspended included masquerade festivals, drinking bars, night clubs and all group sporting and recreational activities.
The governor, who did not suspend religious gatherings, however, charged that social distancing protocol as advised by Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) should be observed during public religious worship as well as in restaurants and eateries.
He also announced the immediate closure of Awkata Tomatoes market in Ogbete.
Uzodinma bans civil servants above 45yrs from work, shutdown night clubs
Imo Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has ordered civil servants from 45 years of age and above to work from homes.
He also banned night entertainment centres and clubs given the large turnout of persons in such venues.
The governor stated this, yesterday, during the flag off of the distribution of hand sanitisers to markets, churches, schools, ministries, agencies, and other public places. He, however, exempted those on essential services from the ban.
“In continuation of our programme to nip the spread of coronavirus in the bud, government has decided to close all night clubs and late night restaurants. From Wednesday, civil servants above 45 years will be encouraged not to come to work because they are the most vulnerable group,” Uzodinma said.
He assured that government would continue to be proactive in the fight against the virus and enjoined citizens to keep away from crowded places and strive to maintain a high level of personal hygiene.
“We are consistent with our commitment to the fight against Coronavirus. Our commitment to ensure that citizens awareness is put in place is unwavering. We will continue to remain vigilant to ensure that all things needed to enlighten our people about this dreaded disease are put in place,” he said.
While admitting that Coronavirus is real and spreading fast, the governor assured that he was ready to guard against anything that would bring the disease to the state.
“Today, we decided to procure hand sanitisers and we will distribute them to all nooks and crannies of the state,” he said.
.. Prof. Ike’s burial postponed
The burial rites of Nigerian literary icon and traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu, Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike, earlier scheduled for April 1 – 5, has now been postponed.
The decision, according to family sources, was in compliance with the ban placed by government on public gatherings.
“Our departed King was law abiding. Our family and our community are also law abiding people,” said a member of the family.
A statement issued by the town union’s President General, Sir Edozie Obasi, who is also the chairman of the burial council, said: “With this outcome since God controls the affairs of men, let us see the development as divine. More time will now be rededicated towards a burial that will be befitting for a king and his people.”
The family said a new burial date would be announced in due course even as it regretted the inconveniences the sudden postponement may have caused guests who may have concluded plans to grace the occasion based on the earlier announcement.