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Umahi shuts government activities as coronavirus cases hit 75

By Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)
05 June 2020   |   3:43 am
Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has suspended all government activities for one week following the rising number of COVID-19 cases to 75 even

– ‘Disregard for interstate movement responsible for rising COVID-19 figures in S’East’

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has suspended all government activities for one week following the rising number of COVID-19 cases to 75 even, as some top government officials have been infected.

Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Uchenna Orji, disclosed that the cases rose to 75 after over 3, 000 samples were tested, noting that 26 cases have been discharged and 49 still receiving treatment were stable.

He noted that Governor Umahi was worried over the way and manner in which some State Executive Council members were being infected adding, however, that their conditions remain stable.

Umahi explained that to ensure effective contact tracing, all government offices should be shut from Thursday, June 4, 2020, and resume on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, while civil servants should work from home within the period, but keep their telephones open to enable them to respond to official enquiries.

He also directed that the old and new Government House complexes be decontaminated, while all state executive members and government officials, especially of the Ministry of Finance and Budget should go for the test within the period.

The governor added that during the period, workers of the Ministry of Finance and Budget should self-isolate, adding that all site operations should, however, remain open, but in strict observance of COVID-19 protocols.

Meanwhile, the rising cases of coronavirus in the South-East zone are caused by disregard for the Federal Government’s interstate movement restriction and curfew imposed in states of the federation.

Experts argued that the frequency with which people travel around the South East during interstate movement restrictions might worsen the situation with more casualties before the end of June.

As at yesterday, the five states of the region recorded 168 cases of the 10,819 confirmed cases in the country. Two had died with many still being treated.

A breakdown of the figure showed that Ebonyi leads with 75 cases with eight discharged and 67 still on admission, followed by Imo with 39 cases with 25 on admission and 14 discharged and Enugu with 27 cases with 14 discharged and 13 on admission.

Also, Abia has recorded 15 cases with eight on admission and seven discharged, while Anambra has 12 cases of which four have been discharged, two dead and six on admission.

Chairman of the Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Ike Okwesili, told The Guardian that unless the governors of the zone strengthen enforcement to enable the people to better abide by directives, the zone might get to a crisis level.

Also, a Public analyst, George Ude, said governors should reinforce the restrictions in the zone to ensure that residents adhere to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) guidelines.