Nigerian states plan tough enforcement as new COVID-19 cases surge

State governments on Sunday renewed COVID-19 protocol enforcement as the country battled increasing cases of coronavirus.

Officials of  states including Lagos, Anamba, Ogun and  Kaduna  on Sunday told Punch that as from Monday (today),  they would  step up enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures such as wearing of face masks, social distancing in vehicles and hand washing.

Recall that following the persistent increase in COVID-19 cases in the country in April, the Federal Government introduced phase one lockdown in Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory from April 27 to May 4.

The country also went through phase two from May 5 to June 29 and phase three from June 30 to July 27.

During the period, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and state governments banned gatherings in worship places and stopped inter-state travels.

Since July, many Nigerians have abandoned non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as wearing of face masks and social distancing.

These have triggered the second wave of the virus, which the PTF announced on Thursday.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, no fewer than 77,933 cases had been recorded in the country  as of Saturday. Also, 1,218 deaths had been recorded during the period.

Following the task force’s announcement, state governments have  taken steps to stop a further spike in COVID-19.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso,  in an interview with The PUNCH, on Sunday said the state safety commission as from Monday (today) would enforce the strict compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines.

He stated, “We are stepping up advocacy on radio and television stations so that people can know that the second wave we are talking about is upon us. We are not planning to shut down the economy, because we can’t afford another lockdown.

“From tomorrow (Monday), we will enforce strict obedience to the COVID-19 protocols on those boarding our BRT. Civil servants from level 14 downwards have also been told to work remotely from Monday as well.”

The state government had last week vowed to impose N20,000 fine on anybody that violated COVID-19 protocols.

Also, the Kaduna State Government on Sunday directed all civil servants below Grade Level 14 to work from home as from Monday (today).

The state also limited the service hour of churches and mosques as a way to curb the coronavirus in the state.

The Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, in a statewide broadcast on Sunday, ordered the closure of the state secretariat beginning  from Monday.

Uzodimma directed that all government workers except permanent secretaries and political appointees should stay away from office till further notice.

The governor said  wearing of face masks had become compulsory as mobile courts had been directed to arrest and prosecute anyone without a face mask.

He also said social gatherings in the state  during this Christmas should  not have more than 1 100 persons, adding social distancing must be maintained at such events.

 

 

– Punch

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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