Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has expressed dismay over the nonchalant attitude of many Imo residents in not adhering strictly to the dreaded Coronavirus disease (COVID -19) precautionary guidelines, especially wearing of face masks.
Uzodimma, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Placid Njoku, said this yesterday while receiving one transport ventilator and other COVID-19 medical items from Seplat Petroleum Development Company, led by an official of the oil firm, Emeka Onyeagba, at the Government House, Owerri.
In Adamawa, the state government has dismissed rumours that private and public schools in the state will be reopened this month, saying that all schools remain closed indefinitely until there are evidences that the corona virus pandemic spread has dropped to a reasonable level.
Secretary to the state government and chairman, state task force on COVID19 Alhaji Bashiru Ahmad, told The Guardian that the pronouncement of the federal government was misinterpreted by people, pointing out that the FG directed only final year students in secondary schools to return for their final year examinations.
“It is very clear that many people did not understand the FG pronouncement on reopening of schools. It is only for JSS 3, SSS 3 and Primary 6 pupils and the purpose is for the students to write their final year examination after which the schools will be closed.
“Government has not even fixed date for those categories of students to return; government is waiting for those examination bodies to release their timetable before it will release the date, criteria on the siting arrangements and how the school authorities will handle the students during the period,” he stated.
Seplat, in collaboration with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had a fortnight ago began funding of $1.8 million 200 bed-room Southeast Emergency Isolation facility at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Imo State.
Other medical consumables received were 25 hospital beds, 30 packs and 10 pieces of N-95 Masks, 50 packs of temperature guns, 300 bottles of sanitizers, 12×75 pieces of organic soaps, 50 packs of Nitrile hand gloves, 50 units of sanitary buckets with tap, and 25 surgical bags.
Uzodimma, who thanked the oil firm for the gestures, warned Imo residents to adhere to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on the pandemic, warning that there was law in place making it an offence for anyone not to wear face masks in the state, including prosecution and payment of fine of N20, 000 or imprisonment or both.
Speaking, Onyeagba, who commended the governor for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for the construction of Owerri – Orlu, and Owerri – Okigwe roads, said the donations were in their avowed commitment to the Corporate Social Responsibility geared towards containment of the disease.
The SSG to the Adamawa State Government warned that any private school that violated the order not to reopen will face the full wrath of the law, noting that it was government’s responsibility to protect its citizens.
On whether the teachers will undergo compulsory testing before they will be allow to handle the students, the SSG said that there is no such plan, pointing out that the state cannot handle corona virus pandemic outside the directives of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).