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COVID-19: Ondo Government explains closure of markets

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The Ondo State Government has given further reasons for a total shutdown of markets in the state, due to persistent flouting of social distancing regulation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had on March 24 shut down market malls and shops, except those dealing on essentials commodities like food, medicine and water, for seven days as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, in a press statement in Akure on Monday, explained that the gross abuse of the earlier directives necessitated the current order to shut the markets totally.

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“Government made it clear from the first directive, in respect of markets, those life-saving items like food, water and medicines were excluded from the order regulating crowds at the markets.

“However, that caveat appears to have been grossly abused.

“Nonetheless, the sales of those listed items like food, water and medicines will still suffice, but not in the congregational manner as it is in the markets.

“In other words, shops and supermarkets, as well as pharmacy stores selling these items, can still go about their normal businesses.

“But this must be in conformity with the regulations guiding social distancing and crowd control.

“Therefore, any shop or supermarket found to encourage unwholesome crowds in contravention of the regulations shall be closed down without delay by the monitoring team.

“Government is open to useful suggestions as we collectively face this global challenge. Together, we shall overcome,” he said.

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