Update On Covid-19 In Imo State, By Governor Hope Uzodimma
UPDATE ON COVID 19 IN IMO STATE, BY GOVERNOR HOPE UZODINMA View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
My dear Imo people, I address you once again on the subject matter of COVID 19 pandemic. This is in keeping with my promise to regularly update you with situation report on our relentless effort at controlling the spread of the virus in the state
To this end we have increased the number of daily tests carried out in the state. We now carry out an average of 150 tests daily, courtesy of our own diagnostic test and treatment centre here in the state.
We have also trained close to 7000 health workers at the State, Local Government and Ward levels. These health soldiers are currently engaged in aggressive public enlightenment campaigns in all the nooks and cranny of the state, to create awareness on the reality of the virus. I believe that 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 food 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 at such gatherings, 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 good people of Imo state for abiding with the guidelines attached to the easing of the lockdown. At least a good number of the people did .
It is however very 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 that 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 overemphasized.
Consequently, there is an urgent need to renew our effort as strictly enforcing all the preventive safety protocols against the virus.
This is so because the main factor contributory to the increase in confirmed case, apart from having our own test centre, include the ill advised refusal of our people to observe simple safety measures.
Incidentally strict adherence to these safety measures was a necessary condition for the easing of the lockdown.
It is therefore quite regrettable that we now have more confirmed cases of the virus in the state. This is not good enough. If anything it is indeed frightening. I hope it sends a clear message to the doubting Thomases that COVID 19 is real and here with us.
We must all be worried about this rising level of community transmission which the outcome of these tests portend. It is important to reiterate that as a government we have not left any stone unturned in our efforts to curtail the Coronavirus disease. Every step needed has been taken to help curb the transmission of the virus in the state.
What appears to be lacking is the much needed cooperation from our people to observe necessary safety measures
In the circumstances I must make it clear that all safety measures must be adhered to. Henceforth any person or group caught in breach of any of the safety measures will be promptly arrested and prosecuted by the mobile court. Security agencies have been charged to be on the lookout for those refusing to observe social distancing or to wear face masks, all of which are compulsory by law. Such people will be prosecuted promptly by the mobile court
I should add that safety measures are also applicable in the food markets This means that market leaders must provide wash hand buckets and sanitizers at entry and exit points of the market. All their Customers and the traders must wear face masks. Offenders in any food market will be arrested and prosecuted.
Let me reiterate that all schools remain closed. Wearing of face mask along with social distancing is legally compulsory.
All big markets remain closed, all forms of night entertainment are banned. All borders remain closed except for Imo people, who are genuinely coming back home. However such people must clearly identify, and subject themselves to necessary safety checks.
Furthermore only food markets and food vending supermarkets are allowed to open for now. Any market or store outside the food bracket seen open will be sealed up indefinitely.
Needless to add that the dusk to dawn curfew remains firmly in place. Burials, weddings and any other type of public ceremony remain prohibited for now. I shall soon be meeting with meeting with religious leaders to intimate them on the inevitability of prohibition of religious worships.
My beloved Ndi Imo these safety measures are in the best interest of all of us. We must observe them. Let us not wait until it becomes too late for us to realise that Coronavirus is real. Let us do our bit so that we can complement government's determined effort to curb the spread of the disease in our state.
Remember the wise saying that God helps those who help themselves
Let us be wise and help ourselves so that God can help us also.