Maurice Iwu, a professor of pharmacognosy, is among 22 persons invited by Anambra Governor Willie Obiano’s State’s Action Committee on Covid-19 Force, which he named today 24 March 2020 in Awka, the State capital.
The Imo State born Iwu, one-time chairman of INEC, Nigeria’s elections umpire, has continued to say that he has developed patents that could cure SARS or Covid-19, a claim that a federal minister recently said is being tested by United States for its veracity.
In a statement he personally signed, Gov. Obiano directed civil servants to work from home, banned public gatherings, closed all schools, and issued restrictions on number of passenger that public transport operators could carry at once.
Anambra Civil Servants were asked to proceed on a 14-day work-from-home with effect from today, with a proviso that any of them could be recalled to handle urgent tasks as may become necessary.
“This directive excludes Anambra State Ministry of Health workers and officers on essential duty,” he said.
The State Government also suspended public gatherings including “traditional marriage ceremonies, community festivals, ofala festivals, masquerade festivals, Igbankwu nwanyi, funeral ceremonies, baby christening, new yam festivals, title-taking ceremonies and any meeting of more than 30 participants.”
Traditional rulers and Presidents-General of Communities were asked to ensure full compliance with the directive “or be held responsible” for any breaches.
The Governor also directed that all nursery, primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary schools remain closed and academic and extra-curricular activities be suspended.
Public transport operators were asked to henceforth submit manifest of passengers coming into Anambra State to the authorities “with their names, phone numbers, residential addresses and final destination.”
The Governor advised all persons returning to the State from overseas, or other states in Nigeria that have Covid-19 cases, to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
In addition, tricycle riders were mandated not to carry more than two passengers, shuttle bus drivers not more than three passengers, while township and minibuses are to carry not more than 5 passengers at a time.
Although Anambra Markets were not specifically shut down, government however advised residents to only visit them for essential commodities.
Also, bars and restaurants were exempted from the shutdown, but their operators were directed not to admit more than 30 customers at a time and to adhere strictly to the basic standards of social distancing.
“They must also provide hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers for their customers,” he said, warning that any violation “will attract immediate closure of the premises.”
Nightclubs were asked to shut down. “People should endeavor to sit at home,” the Governor said.
Governor Obiano reassured the people of the State that his team is “determined to do our best to preserve life and restore normalcy within the shortest possible time.”
In addition to Prof. Iwu, other members of Anambra’s Action Committee on Covid-19 which the Governor heads, include top government officials and health professionals.
The list includes:
- Dr Vincent Okpala, Commissioner for Health
- Mr C. Don Adinuba
- Dr Simeon Onyemaechi
- Prof Igwegbe Anthony
- Prof Oby Emelummadu
- Dr Simon Ushie
- Dr Basil Nwankwo
- Dr Emmanuel Azuike
- Dr Ifeoma Njelita
- Dr Uche Onyejimbe
- Dr Chijioke Obagha
- Dr Joe Akabuike
- Dr Ifeanyi Okoye
- Dr Ernest Ifebi
- Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu
- Dr Onyeka Ibezim
- Chidi Kanu
- Rt. Hon Uche Okafor, Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly.
- Prof Solo Chukwulobelu
- Chief Primus Odili
- Uzu Okagbue
- Chinedu Aniagboso
The statement asked that all calls related to suspected Covid-19 cases be routed to Anambra Public Health Emergency Operation Center on 08030953771 and 08117567363.