COVID-19: Ebonyi State Govt Bans Religious Gatherings, Shuts Down Markets

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In a bid to shield the State from the spreading scourge of the novel coronavirus, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, has directed the prohibition of all religious, sports and other group gatherings within the State effective from 30th March, 2020 to 14th April, 2020. The order which is contained in a public service announcement released earlier today and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, also indicated the total shutdown of markets within the State except the ones selling essential commodities.
The announcement reads as follows:

28/3/2020
Public Service Announcement

I am directed by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dr. David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, to make the following announcement:

That Ebonyi State Government observed with dismay that some religious organizations have been disobeying Government’s directives on public gathering, by mounting loud crusades, conducting wedding and burial ceremonies as well as other gathering outside their worship centres.

Consequently, Ebonyi State Government hereby shutdown all religious gatherings in the State effective from 30th March, 2020 to 14th April, 2020, in other to protect the lives of our people from the scourge of COVID-19; since Government will not like to cause embarrassment to our religious leaders.

Government, therefore requests Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ebonyi State, Chapter and leadership of other religious organizations in the State to ensure that this directive is fully obeyed by every religious group in the State, as Christians as well as other religious groups are encouraged to pray from their homes.

Ebonyi State Government is concerned that with 2 cases of COVID-19 having been confirmed in Enugu State, Government cannot in any way afford to risk the lives of Ebonyians, hence these directives.

Ebonyians are hereby advised to take the fight against COVID-19 very seriously by observing government’s directives on the dos and don’ts of COVID-19 preventive measures.

Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Government directs that with effect from Monday, 30th March 2020, all market and shops that are not dealing on essential commodities be shutdown. In like manner, all drinking joints, sports and sporting activities as well as other forms of public events are hereby shutdown.

This means that the shops that will be allowed to remain open are: Vegetable, foodstuff and fruits market, meat market, building materials, medical shops, hotels, hospitals, pharmaceutical stores, spare parts dealers and other allied essential services.

Government further called on farmers, especially the rice millers and other food processing industries to expedite action on food production, to ensure availability of food to the general public, in case there is need for total lockdown of activities in the State.

Government is also considering inter-senatorial partial movement restriction in the state from Monday, 30th March, 2020.

Ebonyi State Government has prepared quarantine, isolation and treatments centres at the border between Enugu and Ebonyi State as well as Unity Square, with one holding area at Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) where suspected cases will stay, if the test result is positive, he/she will be moved to any of the isolation/treatment centres.

Members of the public are enjoined to supply information about the returnees from outside the country or from other parts of Nigeria.

Also, Government has made available hotel accommodation for all the medical personnel that will be involved in carrying out test/treatment on patients with suspected cases, and also, to ensure that they are fully isolated from associating with families and the public, as government does not want to risk their lives or that of their family members.

Given the forgoing, Ebonyi State Government is calling on medical workers, who wish to volunteer in the handling and treatment of suspected COVID-19 patients and confirmed cases to report to the office of Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike or Dr. Emeka Onwe Ogah, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) and register immediately.

All these actions taken by the State Government are to ensure the protection of lives of Ebonyians which government swore to, under the oath of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

By the grace of God, there is no record of COVID-19, so far in Ebonyi State, and there shall be none in Jesus name, amen; provided we do our own part and God will do his part.

Signed:
Ugbala Kenneth Igwe, Ph.D.
Secretary to the State Government/ Coordinating Commissioner

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