From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Following persistent default of the COVID-19 protocols in the State, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has threatened to lock down the State a second time if the trend is not stopped.
Uzodinma who disclosed this in a state broadcast yesterday said mobile courts have been put in place to try offenders.
He said “The Government of Imo State has announced the setting up of four Mobile Courts, two in the State Capital (Owerri) and one each in Orlu and Okigwe Zones, to try those who treat with levity, the protocols on COVID-19 pandemic preventive.
“The Government Executive Order making it compulsory for all Imo people to wear facemask will henceforth be enforced with unwavering determination.”
“Consequently the Imo State COVID-19 Committee and relevant Agencies in the Ministry of Health have been empowered to arrest and prosecute anyone seen in public without facemask and such offenders when convicted would be liable to a maximum jail term of six months or N20,000 in lieu.
“In the same vein, the Order further provides that any gathering of more than 50 persons anywhere in the State is an offence. The conveners of such gatherings also risk six months in prison or N20,000 in lieu.
“In addition to the above, all hotels, eateries, supermarkets and stores are by the Executive Order compelled to provide hand sanitizers, wash hand stands, test the temperature of their customers and insist on facemask before admitting them into their premises.
“Failure to adhere to the above directives such stores, hotels, eatery or night clubs will be permanently shut down. In addition the proprietors will be prosecuted. These measures, equally apply to all forms of religious gatherings, marriages or funeral and markets.” Uzodimma stated.
” if the people continue to take the above directives for granted I will be forced to review the situation, and if found negative, i will have no choice but to authorize a second lockdown of the State.” Uzodinma warned.