Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Imo Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has threatened to apply stringent measures to prevent the upsurge of coronavirus in the state.
Uzodinma, while reacting to the increase of the virus in the state yesterday, expressed sadness in the continual flouting of the guidelines of the COVID-19.
However, he said about 7,000 health workers have been trained to enlighten and reduce the spread of the virus.
“To this end, we have increased the number of daily tests. We now carry out an average of 150 tests daily, courtesy of our diagnostic test and treatment centre here in the state.
“We have also trained close to 7,000 health workers at local government and ward levels. These health soldiers are currently engaged in aggressive public enlightenment campaigns in all the nooks and crannies of the state, to create awareness on the reality of the virus.
“I believe one task before us is to make our people come to grips with the reality of coronavirus.
“You will recall that when I briefed you a few weeks ago, I announced a partial easing of the total lockdown. Among other things, I announced that food markets and vending stores were allowed to reopen.
“I also announced a partial lifting of ban on public gatherings, limited to not more than 50 persons, who must observe all the safety protocols. Such safety measures include maintaining social distancing, provision of wash hand buckets and sanitizers and compulsory wearing of face masks. The idea of easing the lockdown was to ease economic hardships on our people.
“I thank the people for abiding with the guidelines attached to the easing of the lockdown. At least, a good number of the people did.
“It is, however, sad to note that many of our people do not observe any of the safety protocols. People move about without face masks. More than 50 people gather in public places, contrary to the laid down rules, and worse still, without face masks.
“This show of reckless abandon is mainly due to the fact that many of our people do not believe that coronavirus is real. They say so openly to whoever cares to listen. This is truly unfortunate and dangerous because the truth is that not just that coronavirus is real but it is in Imo State.
“While it is not my intention to frighten anyone, l am nonetheless duty bound to let you know that we now have more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.
“The truth is that the state has witness a surge in positive COVID-19 cases. Needless to add that the apparent rise in the virulence is not far to fetch. The need to void the danger and sliding into an attitude of denial and complacency in the face of an unrelenting pandemic can never be overemphasised” Uzodinma said.