Imo faces likely lockdown, four new COVID-19 cases emerge

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Imo Governor, Hope Uzodinma
Policeman arresting a COVID-19 violator

THE Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has threatened to impose another lockdown in the state following the drop in the compliance level of the COVID-19 guidelines and th emergence of four new cases of the disease.

Uzodinma told journalists Friday that he is dismayed at the compliance level, “and by Tuesday, May 19, I will review the situation. If the violation continues, we will have no option than to lockdown the state completely to save the lives of our people.

Coronavirus is very serious and must be taken seriously. This COVID-19 does not know political parties, religion, language or class. It is a dangerous enemy that we must unite to fight.”

The governor said that the four new cases reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are from the same family, after the infected person returned to the family from Lagos and went to his village In Imo where he infected three members of his family.

He expressed worried that people still evaded or compromised the security at the borders to come into the state, and said that the every new case portends danger to others, especially those in the villages.

The Governor has temporarily lifted the ban on burials, admitting that he succumbed to pressure from operators of mortuaries who complained that their facilities were filled up. 

According to the governor, the temporary measure will allow the bereaved a period of two weeks, from May 16, to bury their loved ones after fulfilling some procedures.

The procedure include, “the family will first write to the Local Government Interim Management Chairman, who will approve in writing stating the date of the burial, that there will be no ceremony after the burial, the burial must not last more than two hours, and not more than 20 persons will be in attendance including the priest.”

In addition, there must be hand washing basins, wearing of face masks, soaps, sanitizers, and social distancing must be observed while the local council officials will monitor the event and prosecute and defaulters.

Despite the poor compliance of the COVID-19 guidelines, the police in state says the ban on interstate travels in the state remains in place, warning that defaulters would be arrested.

The Imo State Command Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ikeokwu Godson Orlando, said: “within this period all motor parks are to remain shut, only vehicles on intra-state transport service will be allowed to operate along the roads. All inter-state vehicles are to desist as anyone caught will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.”

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