The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, on Monday justified why he relaxed the lockdown imposed on the state for 28 days to contain the spread of coronavirus.
He said he relaxed the restriction to avoid likely social unrest and hunger amongst the people.
The governor, who stated this in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, noted that in the fight against COVID-19, there was the need for a balance between protecting the economy and public health.
He said the easing of the restrictions followed the treatment of the state’s COVID-19 index case as well as 68 contact persons who tested negative.
“The 28 days of lockdown, when all markets were shut down, vehicular and human movements restricted, schools closed, traditional religious services suspended, funerals, wedding and title-taking ceremonies practically stopped, have already taken enormous toll on the people’s well being.
“Social unrest must be avoided. If people in developed nations could not accept more than three weeks of lockdown, despite the immense social safety nets for the poor and the huge amounts paid by governments directly to the citizens who lost their jobs in the wake of COVID-19, we can imagine what the most vulnerable in our society and elsewhere in Africa have been going through.
“Markets will open only after they must have participated in the training organised by the state government. Each market must have a COVID-19 team that will have the responsibility of enforcing COVID-19 preventive codes and guidelines which include compulsory wearing of face masks, provision of running water, hand sanitisers, physical distancing, among others.”
The governor urged industrialists in the state to re-open with COVID-19 directives in mind.
The governor had on Saturday eased the lockdown imposed on the state for 28 days by asking churches in the state to resume activities as well as allowed intra-state movement.