The Enugu State government may impose fresh guidelines and safety measures in its efforts to contain further spread of coronavirus in the state. Insisting that this followed the rise in the number of infections, it explained that as at yesterday, the state had the highest number of cases in the South East with 418 confirmed infections, 11 deaths and 221 discharged patients.

It was learnt that the state government decided to await the final report of the state’s COVID-19 Expert Medical Advisory Committee (EMAC) on the escalation of the outbreak to impose fresh guidelines on the containment of the virus.

In its preliminary report released last week, the committee advised the state government to broaden the enforcement of the use of face masks and penalise defaulters so as to stress the importance of the preventive measures.

It recommended restriction of the scale, number and length of time for religious gatherings and other celebrations, adding that government should reconsider elaborate burial ceremonies of probable COVID-19 cases that may have died before their test results were released.

“We must ensure that in paying respect to the dead, we should protect the living. Burial rites, therefore, must be personalised for only immediate family members and not crowds to limit spread of coronavirus,” it said.

After reviewing the report, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had stated, “This would have been the right time to impose lockdown on the state. We are now being confronted with the virus proper and the activities of our people have helped in spreading the pandemic.

A top government official told The Guardian that Governor Ugwuanyi was saddened that in spite of his administration’s efforts, the rate of infections had continued to rise in the state.

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