Reporter : ONYINYE CHIJIOBI
Schools in Anambra State are to reopen on February 1, 2021.
Similarly, churches and other religious organizations are advised to set up COVID-19 Action Teams and go back to the practices that helped in the first phase of the pandemic.
Governor Willie Obiano, who made this known in a Special Broadcast on the Second Wave of the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging people across the world, said that the decision was to enable the principals and teachers prepare adequately for the return of the children.
The Governor, while saying that the state had erected some of the best Protective Care Centers in Nigeria and healthcare workers sufficiently prepared to handle the challenge, explained that the threat of Coronavirus disease was not only real but even more deadly.
Chief Obiano, who expressed dismay that as at December 7, 2020 to January 11, 2021, the state had recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19, said that his administration had taken a string of hard decisions to stamp out the renewed spread of the pandemic before it gained a serious advantage over the people.
He maintained that the second wave of COVID-19 did not take government by surprise as they had been monitoring global trends on the pandemic.
The Governor stated that his administration had made efforts to prepare the people to mitigate the impending challenge through wide consultations and town-hall meetings with the traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society organizations, leaders of market task force, transport operators and leaders of various community groups, among others.
Governor Obiano explained that during the meetings, they emphasized the need to revive all the structures that helped the state survive the first wave of the pandemic.
He also maintained that all government offices must observe the standard COVID-19 protocol, which include washing of hands at the entrance, wearing of facemasks, regular use of hand sanitizers and strict observance of social distancing as nobody would be allowed into any government premises without properly wearing a face mask.
The Governor urged the people not to step outside their homes without wearing a facemask while the ban on nightclubs was still firmly in force.
Chief Obiano also directed that hotels must ensure strict compliance with COVID-19 protocol while more than 50 people would not converge on any public place.
The Governor, while calling on all the COVID-19 Action Teams in all the 61 markets to ensure full compliance with the standard COVID-19 protocol, said that they were given one week to set-up the necessary safety standards and ensure proper compliance as any market found violating the standards after one week would be quickly shut down.
Governor Obiano also called on transport operators to revert to all the practices that helped during the first wave of the pandemic.
He explained that all test centers were active and ready to handle cases with impressive turnaround time, adding they have cascaded the sample collection to all the 21 local government areas in the state.
Governor Obiano warned the people not to go to market, public places, church, schools, enter any transport, attend functions as stated above without properly wearing of facemasks.
He expressed joy that the investment made in setting up an Oxygen Production plant at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (COOU) Teaching Hospital, Amaku had started to pay off, saying that 450 Cubic meters of oxygen would be distributed to primary health care centers while 150 would go to the state teaching hospital, Amaku for effective management of the pandemic.
He however appreciated the efforts of the healthcare workers to making sure that the virus is stamped out.
The Governor maintained that the state would align with any policy on a possible nationwide curfew by the Federal Government to ensure effective compliance.