Abia Government has made wearing of face masks mandatory and warned defaulters will be prosecuted while advising residents to go for free tests.
In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, said the government was worried at the continued rise in confirmed cases and decided to review measures already put in place to check the incidents of the new surge.
He said as a responsible government, they would continue to evolve ways to protect Abians and the environment with a view to preventing further community transmission, particularly with the massive influx of people into the state during Christmas and New Year.
“That all Abians should make themselves available for COVID-19 test. We wish to inform Abians that the government has set up sample collection centres at the various local government areas, including Infectious Disease Hospital, Aba and Molecular Testing Laboratory at Amachara. All sample collections and tests are free of charge.
“As part of the measures to mitigate the effect of the pandemic, Abians are required to compulsorily wear their face masks at all times. Going forward, all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), public offices, eateries, hospitals and banks are hereby directed to paste on all their entrances ‘No Face Mask, No Entry’ notice/inscription. This is compulsory and failure to do so will attract sanction. In addition, such MDAs and public offices and places are required, as a matter of necessity, to provide all COVID-19 protocols, particularly running water and hand sanitizers within their offices.
“Government also directs all local government chairmen, traditional institutions, leadership of various market unions and religious bodies, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to embark on advocacy/sensitisation exercise on COVID-19, and religious worship must be in line with laid down COVID-19 protocols.
Also, All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders’ Forum in Ekiti expressed worry over the increase in COVID-19 infections in the state.
The APC elders’ body also expressed concern on the rising cases of the pandemic in other states of the federation and on the global stage.
Rising from its end-of-year meeting in Igbara Odo, Ekiti South West Local Government Area, the party elders warned residents against flouting COVID-19 safety regulations.