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COVID-19: Wear facemask or don’t come to work, Akwa Ibom tells civil servants

* Police directed to enforce order 'even in rural areas' * Government orders livestock markets reopened months after shutdown due to Covid-19

From INI FRIDAY, Uyo

Civil servants in Akwa Ibom State Government have been warned to wear face masks or don’t come to work and face the consequences.

Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said yesterday in Uyo that anyone caught defaulting the order would be detained for hours to serve as a deterrent to others.
He ordered the State Commissioner of Police to enforce the compulsory use of facemask in all parts of the State, including rural communities.

The SSG directed village heads, youth presidents and local government council chairmen to ensure the enforcement of the use of facemask and strict adherence to other COVID-19 protocols in the villages.
“We have noticed with dismay, the manifest flouting of the regulation requiring the use of face masks. As a responsible government, we must act to curb the spread of the virus and protect our
citizens and residents. To this end, the Governor has directed the State Commissioner of Police to order the monitoring teams to enforce this protocol to the letter,” he said.

“We urge our citizens to take personal responsibility by properly wearing their face masks and maintaining social distancing. All citizens and residents are urged to comply with the AKSG/NCDC/WHO COVID-19 Guidelines and protocols. For emphasis, we must all note the need for:

“We insist on Social distancing wherever people are gathered (churches, markets, schools, hotels, funerals, etc.); Wearing of face masks, Frequent washing of hands, Use of sanitizers.

“Report any case of high body temperature (38oC and above), frequent sneezing, frequent coughing, loss of sense of smell, frequent stooling, breathlessness, etc. to the Isolation Centre in Ituk Mbang General Hospital or to the nearest medical facility.

Dr Ekuwem said out of a total of 1,721 tests conducted, 250 persons were confirmed positive while 208 persons have been discharged, adding that there were 34 active cases.

He explained that Governor Udom Emmanuel has been leading the battle against the pandemic from the frontlines, saying it accounts for the huge support all critical pillars of the fight have received.

He said: “Our statistics as at yesterday are: Total tests conducted – 1721, Total number of confirmed cases – 250, Total number of recoveries – 208, Total number of active cases – 34, Total number of deaths – 8.

“He has spared nothing in this fight, but now is the time for individual responsibility- by maintaining high personal hygiene, keeping social distancing and proper use of face masks.”

Meanwhile, the State government has ordered the reopening of livestock markets months after they were shut down as part of the safety protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic in Akwa Ibom State.
Secretary to State Government and Chairman, COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said the re-opening of livestock markets followed the agreement reached between the livestock dealers association and the State Government on the observance of appropriate safety protocols by the livestock dealers.

In a press release signed and made available to newsmen in Uyo, a copy of which AbeyaNews obtained, the SSG urged the markets to fully comply with the guidelines to that effect.
“Subject to the extant COVID-19 guidelines and protocols and the agreement reached by the livestock dealers association and the state government on the procedure for re-opening of the livestock markets, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has directed that livestock markets earlier closed as a part of the Covid 19 restrictions, be re-opened for commercial activities,” the release read in part.

“The dealers and general public are advised to adhere strictly to the AKSG/NCDC/WHO COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols for public places.

“These guidelines and protocols include: Proper use of face masks at all times within the markets, Provision of facilities for hand washing and personal hygiene, Maintaining Social Distancing, and Provision of Proper sewage and other waste material disposal mechanisms.

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