Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has ordered the immediate shutdown of all judiciary buildings in the state.
He made the directive known in a broadcast to residents on Friday, saying that they are to remain shut for the next 10 days to enable health workers to fumigate the buildings and premises.
The governor also ordered that all staff of the Judiciary in the state and their families should immediately proceed for COVID-19 test.
Mr Umahi disclosed that the state has recorded its first COVID-19 death, which he described as unfortunate and appalling.
“It is unfortunate that we have recorded one death due to this Covid-19 and it makes me so sad,” he said.
“I am directing that in line with the COVID-19 law all the courts in Ebonyi State be shut down for the next 10 days. The Judiciary, State High Court, Industrial Court, Federal High Court, Magistrate court should all be shutdown.
“Also, I advise all the Judiciary officers and their families to undergo COVID-19 tests. I have ordered that all the Judiciary buildings and premises should be immediately fumigated within the 10 days.”
Continuing, the governor advised marketers and churches to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols seriously for their own good.
He regretted that people are throwing caution to the wind in these perilous times and warned that any church or market found flouting the COVID-19 law will be shut.
“We are not contemplating closing markets and churches but we advise them to please take this matter serious(ly). If you are working, ensure that you sanitise yourself every 10 minutes. This is very serious,” he said.
He added: “People may have the COVID-19 but won’t show any symptoms but will go about spreading it.
“Some people with the virus will argue that they are not showing any symptoms. Yes, your immune system is fighting it but the next person that may be weaker than you is at danger and our job is to protect everybody in Ebonyi.”
Governor Umahi regretted that, “There are some other deaths that are not connected with COVID-19. I want to plead with our hospitals to please isolate any COVID-19 suspected case to our isolation centres so that our people who are sick can get treatment.
“People are dying because they can no longer get medical treatment. All our attention (is) being diverted to COVID-19 treatment. Sometimes people are afraid to go to hospital because they are afraid they might contract COVID-19 and because they are not sure how the hospitals will handle them. I appeal that people should be allowed to get their normal medical treatment to save lives.”
The governor said the two isolation centres at Unity Square Abakaliki and the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital are already filled up with patients.
“Fortunately, we had envisaged this and quickly moved to renovate the Elinwovbu General Hospital. The hospital with 150 bed capacity has been upgraded to a COVID-19 isolation centre with all the necessary facilities,” he concluded.