By Victor Akuma
The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has relaxed the ongoing two weeks lockdown in the state to commemorate Easter celebration.
This was made known in a press statement by the Governor through the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem.
According to the statement: “There would be free movement of people within the state only between the hours of 6am on Friday, April 10 (Good Friday) and 2pm on Sunday, April 12 (Easter Sunday), 2020.
“Accordingly, religious worshippers shall be free to worship at their various churches and mosques but must compulsorily observe the following guidelines:
“Not more than 50 persons per stream of worship and a social distance of 1.5m must be maintained.”
“All worshippers must wear face mask.”
“Churches and Mosques must provide a minimum of 4 points for hand-washing with running water and soap.”
“Hand sanitizers must also be provided at different points for the use of intending worshippers.”
The statement further stated that “The State and Local Government Enforcement Teams and Security Operatives shall continue to move around to ensure strict compliance.”
The Governor enjoined both Christians and Muslims to put the state, Nigeria and the world in prayers for quick recovery from the dreaded virus.
“Governor Okezie Ikpeazu hereby enjoins all religious worshippers to use this period to pray for God’s intervention and mercy upon our dear State Abia, our nation Nigeria and the entire world over this dreaded pandemic,” it added.
The statement also noted that not all activities are allowed during the relaxation period and that the state’s borders will remain closed.
“It must be clearly understood that this relaxation order does not extend to Public Gatherings such as burial ceremonies, weddings, meetings, clubbing, etc. The initial order on these activities remain valid and subsisting”.
“All our State borders remain closed and Security Operatives must continue to ensure strict compliance.”
The statement further gave conditions for public supermarkets.
“All public places allowed to operate like Supermarkets and Malls must not entertain more than 10 persons at a time subject to differences in size and must maintain minimum standard of hygiene by providing hand washing materials, sanitizers and digital thermometers. Government shall immediately shut down any business concern that flouts these directives,” the statement read
The directive which states that the lockdown continues 3pm on Sunday, April 12 to Friday, April 17, 2020, enjoined all Abians to be more responsible and vigilant.
“The Governor urges all Abians, as a matter of collective responsibility, to be vigilant at all times and report any suspected case of COVID-19 around their environs”.