Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma has ordered a complete lock down of the state, effective from Saturday (yesterday) as part of the government’s further measures to prevent the dreaded Coronavirus disease from entering the state.
In a State broadcast to the people Saturday, the governor ordered that all markets be closed indefinitely and prohibited all forms of marriage ceremonies. He also announced the ban of all forms of burial and funeral ceremonies and declared that all forms of religious worships in churches and mosques, including crusades and open evangelism were prohibited.
Governor Uzodimma further directed that all borders into the state be barricaded with road blocks and that those coming into the state must be given a clean bill of health by the health officials attached to the check points, before they are allowed entry. He equally directed all civil and public servants in the state, except those on approved essential duties, to stop work immediately.
He said a combined team of military, police and other security agencies would be deployed to the streets to ensure strict compliance with the directives.
The governor however noted that although the new measures may cause some inconvenience or hardship to the people, they were inevitable to assure success in the fight against COVID-19.
The governor assured the people that the state was ready for any emergency as according to him, “a team of specialist doctors are now on ground and well equipped to handle any emergency just in case the virus finds its way into the state.”
Further measures announced by the governor to contain the virus include the training of health educators to go to the rural communities to educate them and the distribution of sanitizers to all the communities in the state.
Governor Uzodimma stated that these measures will be reviewed on weekly basis and if it becomes necessary to relax them or take more measures, the government will act accordingly.
The Governor who assured that his administration will be at its best towards surveillance, prevention and control called for vigilance and strict adherence to safety norms.
His words: “I wish to reiterate my earlier advise that the best safety measures against the disease are social distancing, regular washing of hands with soap, sanitizing our hands regularly as well as periodic check of body temperature to be sure that it is not above 38 degrees Celsius.”
While acknowledging that the number of those infected by the disease in the country is on the increase, Governor Uzodimma said that it has become expedient for government to take further measures to ensure that Imo is safe from Corona virus disease.
The Governor expressed his gratitude to members of the Special Committee on COVID-19 in the State headed by Prof. Maurice Iwu for being effective in the discharge of their duties as well as the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc for its financial support for the fight against Corona virus, and assured that he will leave no stone unturned in his quest to save Imo from the virus attack.
Governor Uzodimma concluded: “There is no denying the fact that we are passing through a very dangerous time occasioned by the world wide Corona pandemic. Every policy directive and action we have taken as a government has only one objective; to protect our people and safeguard our children. That is the primary duty of every responsible government. Have courage my dear Imo people, have hope. We shall overcome for God is with us.”