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Imo confirms 462 cases as Abia makes COVID-19 status mandatory for public services

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Imo Task Force on Containment of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has confirmed 462 cases in the state.

Its chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu, told newsmen yesterday in Owerri that the state government is disturbed by the new strain believed to be deadlier.

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He noted that it was this realisation that informed the government’s order to residents to religiously observe extant safety guidelines.

Iwu said the task force was working hard to ensure precautionary measures were strictly adhered to.

He reminded the people that the state government had constituted mobile courts to try violators.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Damaris Osunkwo, informed the citizens that the isolation centres had been activated for better results.

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Besides, the governor has directed payment of December allowances and salaries to civil servants, whom he ordered to stay at home following the surge in infections.

The directive was contained in a statement issued by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Cosmas Iwu, in Owerri.

IN a related development, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has ordered the launch of “operation know your COVID-19 status” and prevention of persons without face masks from accessing public services in Abia State.

He also advised residents to visit the molecular laboratories in Aba and Umuahia for tests.

Secretary to the State Government and chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Chris Ezem, who conveyed the announcement yesterday in Umuahia, said the measures were to safeguard the people against the second wave of the disease.

He clarified that in the new dispensation, eateries and hospitalities are to sell on take-away, while religious centres, markets, and transporters would carry out their activities in line with existing safety protocols.

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