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Umahi orders shoot on sight of escapees from isolation centres

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Rivers residents lament hunger, Cross River recalls garment factory workers to mass-produce masks
• Ilorin varsity to make N30m worth of sanitisers for Kwara

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, yesterday ordered security operatives to shoot any returnee that tries to escape from the quarantine and isolation centres on sight.

The state government had at the weekend ordered immediate isolation of no fewer than 37 returnees that entered the state through the bush after the state government ordered the closure of its borders.

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He stressed that any of the returnees that try to escape from the quarantine centre where they would be subjected to medical tests daily for 14 days following Coronavirus pandemic should be shot on sight.

The state government had ordered that all the borders in the state be immediately shut down to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading to the state.

But no fewer than 30 persons were said to have entered the bush and crossed to a boundary town between Abakaliki and Enugu where vehicles were already on standby to carry them to their various destinations.

The 30 escapees and seven returnees were later taken to a quarantine centre at the Abakaliki Township Stadium where Umahi visited them at 9 pm and ordered that they are subjected to a daily medical examination for 14-days.

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In a related development, Cross River State Governor, Benedict Ayade has recalled workers of the state-owned Garment Factory to work for mass production of the face and nose masks.

A statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser Media and Publicity Christian Ita quoted the governor as saying that they are to resume work today after the factory was disinfected yesterday.

He said the workers were initially sent home in line with the partial lockdown declared by the governor last week as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Besides, residents of Rivers State have lamented hunger following the lockdown of markets and borders being implemented by the State Government at all levels to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

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They lauded the government’s measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus but lamented that total closure of all markets in the State no matter how small was imminent for their survival.

The residents said the government should have exempted sellers of food items from the lockdown to enable the people to have access to food as they remain indoors.

Ikenna Amadi, a resident on Afikpo Street in Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt said, “The government’s decision to close all markets in the state was hasty, especially knowing that workers had not received their salaries and had no money to stock food.”

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A consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr. Eli Sukarime, however, stated that the lockdown was an effective measure to check the spread of the virus, but noted that there would have been provision of welfare for the people to cushion the effects of hunger.

Meanwhile, the Kwara State government has contracted the Technical Entrepreneurship Centre (TEC), University of Ilorin, to produce hand sanitisers for onward distribution to the people of the state.

Director of the Centre, Dr. Jamiu Kolawole Odusote, who disclosed this, said the production contract was worth over N30m.

Odusote said the management of the university concluded arrangements with the state government on the need to engage the TEC for mass production of the sanitisers.

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