In recent time we have noticed a marked increase in the number of people testing positive to Covid-19 in our State. This can be attributed to community transmission as well as increased testing. In the coming days, many more citizens are expected to be tested and consequently, the numbers may go higher.

The Government of Abia State has acquired two testing facilities in the State and is planning to add another one in Aba. The expected increase in number should not be a source of panic or worry because the mortality is still low. However, the current situation calls for caution and self discipline, personal hygiene and strict compliance with State Infection prevention Control Measures(IPCM).

Going forward, Abia State new Covid-19 protocol will be as follows:

1. The ban on interstate movement is hereby lifted as approved by the Federal Government up to curfew time from 10pm to 6am. On intrastate transport, keke operators are to carry maximum of 2 persons, minibus (Oke-bekee), maximum of 5, Hiace Bus, maximum of 7 and coaster, maximum of 14. All drivers and passengers are mandated to wear face masks throughout their trip. All Intra and interstate transporters are to strictly observe curfew time as directed by Federal Government. Government will provide digital thermometers at our State borders to screen interstate travellers as travellers who fail the screening would be turned back or quarantined in the nearest Covid-19 holding area. Security agencies are authorised to ensure strict compliance to the use of face mask and must apprehend violators.

2. All burials, weddings and other public gatherings must be approved by the office of the SSG upon application made through the TC Chairman of the applicable Local government. No such gathering must exceed 50 persons and the necessary Covid-19 protocol must be observed. Leaders of churches meant to preside over this event(s) are requested to obtain further information from the office of the Secretary to Abia State Government. Violation of these guidelines will attract serious consequences including disruption of the event(s) and prosecution by relevant court.

3. Markets are now to operate Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 5pm. Market Enforcement Teams are to ensure that all Covid-19 protocols strictly apply in all our markets; namely Compulsory provision of washing facilities, regular fumigation and compulsory wearing of face mask which will be inspected three times per week by the State task force and enforced everyday by the market enforcement committee.

4. In line with Federal Government directives, our ministry of education is currently working out modalities for the reopening of schools particularly for primary 6, JSS 3 and SS3 students in the State. Government however warns that anybody running classes or study center contrary to Government directive will be prosecuted. Such study center should approach honourable commissioner for Education for guidelines and necessary accreditation otherwise they stand risk of permanent closure and prosecution.

Government will soon make public a new enforcement regime for compulsory use of face mask.

Abians are strongly advised to continue to observe all Covid-19 protocols as regards compulsory wearing of face mask, observing regular hygiene of hand washing and use of sanitizer and social distancing to ensure that we all stay safe at all times.

Government most profoundly appreciates all our donors and also commend the efforts of our frontline medics, health workers, security operatives, our State and Local Government Enforcement Teams, our media and information management team, religious leaders, civil society organizations and indeed all Abians for their collective resolve to fight the deadly pandemic to standstill in the State.

Barr. Chris Ezem
Secretary to Abia State Government & Chairman Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19


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