Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has declared a dusk to dawn curfew on the state as part of government efforts to check further spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
Ikpeazu said this while addressing newsmen on the state government’s efforts toward handling recent developments in the state on Saturday.
He said that an extensive contact tracing exercise had commenced in Ukwa West, Ikwuano, and Umuahia North Local Government Areas, which are the epicenter of the state’s index cases.
“Presently, about 207 contacts have been established, and we are still counting. Unfortunately, our epidemiologists are experiencing some problems in some communities in Ukwa West.
“The TC chairman of Ukwa West and the traditional rulers must yield unfettered access and cooperation to our medical team or risk immediate suspension,” he warned.
Ikpeazu said that transition committee chairmen of the councils were expected to take the exercise serious, adding they will be held responsible in the event of any lapses.
The governor said that from April 26 midnight, the three affected local government areas would be on total lockdown for seven days.
He added that this was aimed at enabling the state government’s epidemiologists to successfully conduct and conclude the ongoing contact tracing exercise in the areas.
Ikpeazu acknowledged receiving 1,800 bags of rice from the Federal Government for Abia people, adding that the wholesomeness of the supply will be examined and a pattern for distributing the items will be evolved.
He said that the state had also received a number of face masks from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and commended the federal government for the gesture.
“We make bold to state that in Abia, we are self-sufficient in the production of facemasks and as such do not need any imported face masks and PPE in Abia,” Ikpeazu said.
He directed that the Christian Association of Nigeria, traditional rulers, Civil Society Organisations, and women journalists, as well as presidents of town unions and development associations, should be included in the Committee on Palliatives.
“From next week the committee would embark on the distribution of relief materials in various communities in the state,” he said.
Ikpeazu added that plans were underway to ensure that more groups and individuals would benefit from the state government relief materials distribution exercise.