Sir Gabriel Onyendilefu is the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs
in Abia state.
He spoke on COVID-19 and how it is being contained in Abia State.
Since the outbreak of this Corona pandemic especially when it became prominent, the Nigeria Government had to respond with so many measures in order to contain the spread.
The state governments also introduced lots of measures which are in tune with what the federal government has marshalled out including providing facemasks and observance of social distancing in public places, the churches, market places.
Of cause you’ll recall that sometimes the state introduced a total lockdown in the state and businesses were closed including Government offices.
Everything was shut down and people were not even allowed to walk on the streets. At that time there was no record of any case in Abia State till when we had two cases that were reported at the Federal Medical Centre here in Umuahia.
Before the people were asked to open their businesses they are expected to have hand sanitizers, keep a bucket of water and soap and all that in the business places before anyone enters, that person must wash his hands and things like that.
If you come to transport area, Keke people were asked to carry only two people and they must be on facemasks. There is this bus we call ‘oke bekee’ here. They were asked to carry only six persons, so two in a row. Everybody must also be on facemasks.
Borders we’re shut and Government also imposed its own curfew from 6pm in the night till 6am in the morning before the federal government introduced its own from 8pm to 6am which is currently running now.
Government has also put in measure that markets should run for 3 days in a week. You have Monday from 8am in the morning till 4pm also on Wednesdays and Fridays, that’s 3 times in a week. Also for the markets, they have to wear masks between the sellers and the buyers and they have to keep running water were people would wash their hands before they can be attended to. And also sanitizers.
Also government has gone ahead with some palliative measures which you may have heard. Government started with churches where they gave food items to give to indigent ones.
All the churches in Abia state got the palliatives. We also went ahead to provide palliatives for those who don’t come to church through traditional rulers.
Furthermore Government has locked down borders. So persons no longer enter and movement is now within the state which is also from that 6am to 8pm in the evening. For Keke operators movement is 6am to 4pm everyday. So that is how it is now.
Abia’s COVID-19 cases are still very low
I can say that the number we have recorded is just the special grace of God because the number we have recorded have been discharged so it’s in fact a thing of grace that it is only this number that we have recorded.
But then, Government has brought in testing machine into the state. I think that will help because before now, samples were taken to testing centres in Ebonyi State and that makes it hard for more persons to be tested but now that it is here, I think we will now be sure whether we have or not. It was installed a few days ago.