Covid-19: Uzodinma Orders Civil Servants To Stay Home, Blames Int’l Flights For Resurgence

The governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has ordered civil servants in the state to stay home till further notice following the resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. The governor also blamed the new cases of the pandemic on the opening of international flights in Nigeria.

Uzodinma stated this in his Sunday’s broadcast. According to him, the state secretariat should be shut effective Monday, December 21, adding that henceforth, wearing of face masks had become compulsory. He said mobile courts had been set up for the prosecution of offenders. Markets and other places, he added, must also put all Covid-19 protocols in place while social gatherings, above 100 persons, at the yuletide are not allowed.

The broadcast reads in parts, “The times are far from normal. The dreaded coronavirus pandemic, otherwise known as Covid-19, is back in town at full speed. I am duty bound to ensure that this should not be the last Christmas any of us will celebrate with our loved ones. This may sound scary but it is a grim possibility if we do not take urgent protective steps to stop coronavirus on its tracks.

“There is a great global resurgence of the dreaded virus. With the reopening of international flights, movement of people across the globe is back on full stream. This has aided further spread of the virus. It is usual that at this Christmas, our relations and friends from across the world and Nigeria will be coming home. Expectedly there is bound to be a great human traffic surge in Imo State. This of course comes with its full implications for the spread of Covid-19.

“Since October, the number of cases in the country, which hitherto seemed to be reducing, has been on a rapid rise. From 225 confirmed new cases in October, the number has risen to a frightful level of 77,933 in December. December 19th alone, 920 new confirmed cases were recorded in the country, with six deaths. In Imo State, the situation is no less frightening. Recent PCR-Based tests carried out in the state in accordance with the guidelines of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reveal a frightful upward surge in the confirmed cases curve.

“As of last week, no less than 32 persons were confirmed positive with Covid-19. Sadly, while the grim realities of increasing Covid-19 infections continue to confront us every day, a general complacency and false sense of safety amongst our people to Covid-19 safety protocols remain the order of the day. This trend must be reversed in the interest of everyone.

“The imminent danger posed by the human traffic surge occasioned by the season makes immediate and drastic steps in this direction both cogent and urgent. I want to emphasise that there is absolute need to avoid gathering of crowds of more than 100 people anywhere in the state. Where such crowds must gather, those involved must wear face masks. There should be wash handstands readily available with alcohol-based sanitisers at such gatherings.

“All government workers are to stay at home from Monday, December 21, till further notice, except permanent secretaries and political appointees. This means that the state secretariat, which is a major crowd puller, will remain closed until further notice.

“In addition, wearing of face masks in public is henceforth absolutely compulsory. Mobile courts have been deployed all over the state to try any person caught without wearing face masks. All Covid-19 safety protocols will henceforth be strictly enforced. These include provision of wash hand stands and sanitisers in markets and worship places. Any person or persons caught not observing these safety protocols will be summarily prosecuted in the mobile courts.”

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