Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.
By Chidi Nkwopara – OWERRI
Imo State Government, weekend, threatened to slam another lockdown of the state, following the confirmation of four new cases of COVID-19 cases, by the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
Governor Hope Uzodinma, who read the riot act in Owerri, as he expressed displeasure over the non-compliance of the citizens with the government’s directives on the prevention of the spread of coronavirus in the state, however, gave a two-week opportunity for bereaved families to bury their loved ones.
Uzodinma regretted that despite strict directives on the closure of the state boundaries, people still infiltrate the state from outside.
“It is regrettable that an infected person came in from Lagos and went to his village where he, in turn, infected three members of his family. This portends danger to those living in the villages and should be avoided because of the fear of community spread”, Uzodinma said.
While reiterating that he “will stop at nothing to protect the life of Imo citizens from the dreaded virus”, the Governor, however, warned that he “will be left with no other option than to order a total lockdown, if citizens continue to violate the directives and measures put in place by government to contain the spread of the virus.”
His words: “I want to warn citizens of Imo State that coronavirus is very serious and must be taken seriously. This COVID-19 does not know political parties, religion, language or class. It is a dangerous virus that we must unite to fight. By Tuesday, May 19, 2020, I will review the situation. If the violation continues, I will have no option than to lockdown the state completely to save the lives of our people.”
Meanwhile, Governor Uzodinma has temporarily lifted the ban on burials in the State.
The Governor stated that “due to pressure from operators of mortuaries, who are complaining that their facilities are full to the brim, government has decided to allow people a period of two weeks, from May 16, to bury their loved ones with strict procedures that must be adhered to.”
According to the Governor, the bereaved families will first write to the local government Interim Management Chairman, who will in turn, give them approval in writing, stating the date of the burial.
Uzodinma also warned that there will be no ceremony after the burial and that the burial, which must not last more than two hours, will not have more than 20 persons in attendance at a time including the priest.
He emphasized that the organizers must provide hand washing basins, soaps, sanitizers, and that social distancing must be observed, adding that the local councils will monitor the burials and anybody who violates the rules will be arrested and prosecuted.