‘Why Abia govt. chose to sustain lockdown’

The Abia Commissioner for Information, Chief Okiyi Kalu, said the state government sustained the lockdown because it remained a potent measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Kalu said this on Monday in an interview with newsmen in Umuahia, while speaking on the extension of the lockdown indefinitely in the state.

The measure was initially scheduled to last for two weeks, subject to weekly review.

The commissioner said that sustaining the measure was in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that although Abia had yet to record any confirmed case of the deadly pandemic, government was working hard to prevent its entry into the state.

According to him, the lockdown will provide the state the opportunity to stem the spread of the disease into Abia.

“And in the event of an outbreak, necessary measures have been put in place to nurse the patients back to health.

“We therefore expect people to obey the lockdown order for their own good even though we know it is tough for our normally hard working people.

“With the lockdown, we expect that within the incubation period of 14 days the symptoms would have manifested.

“We will be able to isolate and nurse carriers back to health without their spreading the disease to others.

“To ease the effect on vulnerable persons, we have distributed food materials, money, hand sanitisers and face masks through churches, traditional rulers and presidents-general of town unions.

“We will continue with the distribution throughout the lockdown period and it is important to note that we have yet to receive any support from the federal government.

“Our geriatric services agency is also distributing food materials, money, drugs, hand sanitisers and face masks to persons, who are 70 years and above in our state,” he said.

Kalu said that the state government was not unmindful of the predicament of the residents, adding that plans had been made to distribute more palliatives to alleviate their sufferings.

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The lockdown, which started on April 1, was relaxed after the first seven days to enable residents to restock their foodstuffs and celebrate the Easter.

Government also relaxed the measure on Friday to enable the people to restock their foodstuffs with a directive for it to continue indefinitely on Monday.

Meanwhile, the resumption of the exercise witnessed partial compliance as residents walked long distances to their destinations in defiance of the order.

Commercial vehicles, including commuter buses and tricycles, return to the streets from about 4pm, when the enforcement teams had abandoned their duty posts due to fatigue.



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