The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has said he relaxed the 28 days lockdown order put in place in the state to contain the spread of coronavirus in order to prevent possible social unrest and hunger amongst the people of the state.
The Governor had in a broadcast on Saturday lifted the ban on movement and asked churches to return to their religious activities.
He however said schools and state borders and schools will remain closed, while civil servants will continue to work from home until further notice.
Obiano explained that relaxing the restriction on movement in the state was necessitated by the treatment of the state’s index case and the negative result of the 68 contact persons.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba on Monday, Obiano said that while fighting to protect people against the Coronavirus pandemic, striking a balance between the economy and public health was also imperative.
He said: “Like every other government, the Anambra State administration is bound to protect its people from the ravages of COVID-19 but it cannot afford to do so by unwittingly allowing millions of its people to die of hunger and starvation or by causing their businesses to collapse through an unmitigated lockdown.
“Social unrest must be avoided. If people in developed nations could not accept more than three weeks of lockdown, despite the immense social safety nets for the poor and huge amounts paid by governments directly to the citizens who lost their jobs in the wake of COVID-19, we can imagine what the most vulnerable in our society and elsewhere in Africa have been going through.”
Obiano recalled that the 28 days of lockdown which had markets shut down, schools closes, traditional religious services suspended, funerals wedding and title taking ceremonies practically stopped have taken an enormous toll on the people’s well being.