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Uzodinma orders arrest of violators as Imo records 247 cases of virus

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May close worship centers again

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma yesterday directed security operatives to arrest and detain residents who flout COVID-19 restriction orders, describing the rising cases of the pandemic to a record 247 as worrisome.

The Guardian observed that only about 10 per cent of residents, especially in Owerri, the state capital wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, use sanitisers and keep other safety measures.

Also disturbing the fact that no fewer than 14 of the 27 members of the state House of Assembly had contracted the virus, just as the state had recorded two deaths from the virus.

In his statewide broadcast, Uzodinma expressed frustration that he would engage the leadership of religious bodies on the inevitability of closing worship centres again due to people’s disregard for safety protocols.

His words: “In the circumstances, I must make it clear that all safety measures must be adhered to. Henceforth, any person or group caught in breach of any of the safety measures will be arrested and prosecuted in the mobile courts.

“Security agencies have been charged to be on the lookout for who fail to observe social distancing or wear face masks. Such people will be prosecuted promptly in the mobile court.

“Consequently, there is an urgent need to renew our effort, as strictly enforcing all the preventive safety protocols against the virus. Let me reiterate that all schools remain closed. Wearing of face mask and social distancing are compulsory.

“All big markets will remain closed and all forms of night entertainment are banned. All borders remain closed except for Imo people, who are genuinely returning home. However, such people must clearly identify and subject themselves to necessary safety checks.”

He said religious centres were at risk of spread of the disease, adding that the dusk to dawn curfew remained in place, while burials, weddings and other public ceremonies remained prohibited for now.

“I will soon meet with religious leaders to intimate them about the inevitability of prohibiting religious worships,” he said.

Uzodimma also disclosed that the state tests 150 samples COVID-19 daily, while 7,000 health workers have been trained to increase the number of tests through the diagnostic centre.


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