CLOSURE OF EKE MARKET, AWKA, FOR PERSISTENT VIOLATION OF THE PROTOCOLS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
1. Following widespread violations of the protocols in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the Anambra State Government has decided to shut down Eke Awka for two weeks, with effect from Monday, June 15, 2020. The violations are carried out by traders and buyers as well as suppliers in the market.
2. The major condition for the reopening of markets in Anambra State on Monday, May 4, 2020, after five weeks of closure as a critical step in the war to save our people from the ravages of COVID-19, was that all stakeholders in the markets like buyers and sellers must always wear face coverings, provide water, soaps and hand sanitizers in every line, wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and keep social distancing of six feet.
3. It is regrettable that these precautionary measures meant to protect the lives of millions of our people have flagrantly been violated habitually, especially in Awka Market. The result is the recent spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and even fatalities in our dear state. Awka South Local Government Area, where Eke Awka is located, has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases of all LGAs in the state.
4. The state Government is, therefore, constrained to close down Eke Awka for two weeks in the overriding public interest. The government is closely monitoring the level of compliance with the protocols in the battle against COVID-19 in other markets. Any market found to have a low compliance level will be shut down immediately and indefinitely.
5. All the markets, motor garages, hotels and places of worship which enjoy high traffic in Anambra State are, once again, called upon to comply strictly with the requirements in the fight to check the spread of COVID-19. The fight requires each and every person in the state to avoid handshakes and embraces; to maintain a social distance of six feet; to wear a face mask in the appropriate place; to wash hands frequently with water and soap for 20 seconds; and to cough into our elbow or a disposable tissue.
6. The public is reminded that the rampant violation by individuals of the protocols in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic will no longer condoned. Mobile courts are being set up in different parts of the state to try offenders who will be fined up to N10,000 or made to do community service.
7. Individuals and organisations in the state should report to the Ministry of Health or to the Local Government or to the COVID-19 Task Force in any of the 326 wards in the state or the President General of the Town Union or the Traditional Ruler of their community any person who displays symptoms of COVID-19 like high fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. They are also encouraged to report to any of the above any stranger in their midst or any person who has returned to the state in the last 14 days.
8. The Anambra State Government considers the battle to save ndi Anambra from COVID-19 a sacred duty. Nothing will be spared to save our people from this contagion which has killed hundreds of people across the globe. Anambra State must remain the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.