The Abia State government on Thursday banned public gatherings in a bid to check the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.
The Chairman of the state’s COVID-19 Inter-ministerial Committee, Mr. Chris Ezem, announced this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Umuahia.
He said the ban was necessitated by the need to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Ezem, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, said the state government would implement the measures it applied during the first wave of COVID-19 to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
He warned that non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols could lead to a total lockdown in the state.
He said: “All schools, churches, business centres, markets, and eateries are expected to boldly have an inscription at the entrance of their venues with the title: ‘NO FACEMASKS, NO ENTRY.
“All transport regulations remain as provided earlier, as tricycle known as ‘keke’ must not carry more than two persons, while minibusses will take only four passengers and buses will carry nine.
“The hospitality industry must run takeaway food operations and ‘No Facemask, No Entry’ policy while all defaulters will pay a fine of N100,000 before it will be reopened.
“The attendance at weddings or burials must not exceed 50 persons, while traditional rulers of all communities and with local government chairmen are to set up taskforce to monitor them.”
Abia has 1,323 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 fatalities, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).