Anambra reopens food markets and bars

“The directive on the wearing of face masks remains fully in force. Nobody should step out of their homes without wearing a face mask.”

Gov. Willie Obiano

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State today relaxed a few of the restrictions hitherto placed on trade and movement, by allowing food markets, restaurants and bars to immediately open for business.

He however gave conditions for each sector to put in place neces8sary measures to protect people from the Coronavirus such as installing handwashing stations, providing sanitizers and using face masks.

“They must comply with the principles of social distancing. They are to provide hand-washing points with soap and hand sanitizers at the entry points into the markets,” he said.

The Governor justified the relaxation of the restrictions because, with the exception of the index case, all tests for Coronavirus infection done in the State have so far returned negative, including for 36 persons who made direct contact with the index case.

He also said that Anambra’s Covid-19 index case has been released from the State isolation Centre and has reunited with his family.

He told the people to banish fear and rather exercise faith in God.

“Covid-19 is not a death sentence. And if we fight together and do what is expected of us, we shall win!”

Government, he said, has scheduled a meeting with leaders of markets that have been closed for four weeks now, to review the position and agree on when to reopen them.

Obiano said that movement within the state has been relaxed but the state will continue to enforce total closure of boundary points with other states, except for haulage trucks bearing essential commodities.

But he also gave a condition for those who wish to venture outdoors:

“The directive on the wearing of face masks remains fully in force. Nobody should step out of their homes without wearing a face mask,” he said.

He also said his government is aware of the existence of illegal motor parks operating within the State boundaries, from where people were crossing on foot into and out of Anambra and announced that law enforcement agents have been directed to close them down.

On religious gatherings, the Governor asked church leaders to ensure their congregation complied with standard protocols including wearing of face masks to church, use of hand sanitizers, social distancing to ensure that worshippers are not endangered, and regular washing of hands.

“Please note that there should be no crusades and vigils for the time being,” he said. 

The Governor appreciated individuals and organisations that donated to the Anambra Covid-19 Fund, the security agencies that have been managing the lockdown restrictions and health workers who are in the frontline of the battle.

On health workers, the Governor said their “commitment to our collective well-being should inspire us to take more responsibility for our health and the health of our communities; we shall continue to remember them in our prayer meditations.”

To encourage them to do more, he announced the award of State Government Medal of Honour and a cash prize to “four doctors who handled our Index case, along with the two nurses, the pharmacist, the cleaner and the ambulance driver who took him to the Preventive Care Center.”

Umu nnem, let’s keep fighting together, praying together and looking out for each other. I am sure that if we sustain this spirit, we shall all be winners in the end,” he concluded.


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