Abia rolls out new COVID-19 protocols


-violators risk strict penalties, including prosecution

By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

Abia State has rolled out new protocols in its fight to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

The new guidelines stipulate that  all burials and weddings must obtain approvals from the Secretary to State Government.

A statement by the SSG, Barr. Chris Ezem reads:”All burials, weddings and other public gatherings must be approved by the office of the SSG upon application made through the TC Chairman of the applicable Local Government. No such gathering must exceed 50 persons and the necessary Covid-19 protocol must be observed. Leaders of churches meant to preside over this event(s) are requested to obtain further information from the office of the Secretary to Abia State Government. Violation of these guidelines will attract serious consequences, including disruption of the event(s) and prosecution by the relevant court.

The statement continues: “Markets are now to operate Mondays to Fridays from 7 am to 5 pm. Market Enforcement Teams are to ensure that all Covid-19 protocols strictly apply in all our markets; namely Compulsory provision of washing facilities, regular fumigation and compulsory wearing of face mask which will be inspected three times per week by the State task force and enforced every day by the market enforcement committee.

“In line with Federal Government directives, our ministry of Education is currently working out modalities for the reopening of schools particularly for primary 6, JSS 3 and SS3 students in the State. The Government, however, warns that anybody running classes or study centres contrary to Government directive will be prosecuted. Such a study center should approach the honourable commissioner for Education for guidelines and necessary accreditation; otherwise, they stand the risk of permanent closure and prosecution.

The state, in line with federal government directive, has also lifted ban on interstate travels, stressing that” all Intra and interstate transporters are to strictly observe curfew time as directed by the federal government.

Also provision of digital thermometers at the state borders to screen interstate travelers are assured by the state as travelers who fail the screening would be turned back or quarantined in the nearest Covid-19 holding area.



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