Anambra Gov. Willie Obiano says the state government is set to distribute no fewer than three million face mask.
He also stated that 63 markets would be fumigated to minimize human exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and other infections in the state.
The Governor, who stated this at a special broadcast on Thursday at Aguleri in Anambra East Local Government Area, said the masks would be made by local tailors selected from each of the 181 communities of the state.
“Our intention in handing out three million masks is to ensure that after the 14-day lockdown of the state, no one will step out of their home without wearing a nose mask.
“Government and the leadership of tricycle and shuttle bus operators in the state are also given a two-month waiver on permits they pay to cushion the sudden fall in their income.
“This is also a part of our economic stimulus package for the vulnerable,” he added.
Obiano further disclosed that the state government had migrated its classrooms to radio, television and Facebook to ensure that school children were not adversely affected by the lockdown.
According to him, a programme titled “Anambra Teaching on Air” had commenced on the state government media platforms to meet the educational needs of school children.
Although, no confirmed case had been reported in the state, Obiano said that six samples from ‘case description’ were taken for test and four of them came out negative.
He said the results of the other two and three new samples sent on April 2, were being expected.
The governor further disclosed that the state government had set up a 250-bed isolation centre at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Mbaukwu/Umuawulu and another 16-bed isolation centre at the General Hospital, Onitsha.
He said the isolation centre at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka was being raised to standard in case of any outbreak.
Obiano said two such centres were also at Ekwulobia General Hospital and Umueri General Hospital and were currently being equipped by the managements of Fidelity Bank and the Access Bank.
The governor noted that the state government had mounted massive awareness campaign to enlighten the people on the threat of the pandemic.
“We have closed our boundaries with neighbouring states and shut down our 63 major markets in Anambra State to flatten the curve on this virus.
“We have commenced the distribution of 200 bags of rice to each of the 181 communities in the state for further distribution among our senior citizens from 70 years and above.
“In communities where we have more than 200 people within the specified age bracket, distribution shall start from the oldest to the youngest in the age bracket,”he said.
He added that 10 per cent refund on personal income taxes was given to businesses for the year 2019.
The governor commended the interventions from illustrious sons and daughters of the state, as well as the private sectors to help cushion the effect of the lockdown in the state.
He said the interventions came from Chief Arthur Eze, Dr Cosmas Maduka, Chief Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), Sir Emeka Offor, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu (Chisco), Emma Bishop Okonkwo and Chief Allen Onyema (Air Peace).
Others are: UBA Plc, Ibeto Petrochemical, Ejison International Ltd, Chief Ken Nwogbo, Dozzy Oil, Sen. Victor Umeh, Igwe Gerald Mbamalu of Ojoto, Chief Godwin Ezeemo and Dr Ernest Obiejesi, among others.
He, however, appealed to spirited individuals and organisations for more donations, especially ventilators and protective gears to boost its capacity to overcome possible threats posed by the pandemic.
Obiano reminded the people of the need to maintain proper hygiene, especially regular hand washing with soap and the use of sanitisers.
“Cough and sneeze into your elbows, put on a face mask while going out and, most importantly, stay home and stay safe,” the governor emphasised. (NAN)