…as State Records Four New COVID-19 Cases
…Lifts Ban on Burial for Two Weeks
Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has expressed his displeasure over the non-compliance of the citizens with the government’s directives on the prevention of the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Briefing newsmen Friday on the situation as it concerns the battle against COVID-19 in the state, Governor Uzodimma regretted that four new cases from one family have been reported by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to have tested positive to the disease in Imo State.
The Governor noted that despite strict orders for the closure of the boundaries, people still infiltrate the state from outside. He regretted that the infected person came in from Lagos and went to his village where he, in turn, infested three of his family members. This, he said, portends danger to those living in the villages and should be avoided because of the fear of community spread.
While reiterating that he will stop at nothing to protect the life of Imo citizens from the dreaded virus, Governor Uzodimma warned that he will be left with no option than to order for a total lockdown if citizens of the state continue to violate the directives and measures put in place by government to contain the spread of the virus.
His words: “I want to warn citizens of Imo State that 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 virus that we must unite to fight. By Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 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.”
Meanwhile, Governor Uzodimma has temporarily lifted the ban on burials in the State. The Governor stated that due to pressure from operators of mortuaries who are complaining that their facilities are full to the brim, government has decided to allow people a period of two weeks, from May 16, to bury their loved ones with strict procedures that must be adhered to.
The procedures outlined include: that the family will first write to the Local Government Interim Management Chairman, who, in turn, will give them approval in writing stating the date of the burial; that there will be no ceremony after the burial and that the burial, which must not last more than two hours will not have more than 20 persons in attendance at a time including the priest.
The Governor also emphasized that the organizers must provide hand washing basins, soaps, sanitizers, and that social distancing must be observed. He warned that the local councils will monitor the burials and anybody who violates the rules will be arrested and prosecuted.
The Governor was flanked during the briefing by the Chairman of COVID-19 Taskforce in Imo, Prof. Maurice Iwu and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Damaris Osunkwo.