Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
There are indications that governors may declare another round of lockdown in the days ahead, if growing cases of COVID 19 are registered. Already, some governors have given signals on certain restrictions that will begin to take effect.
In Cross River for instance, the annual street party, Calabar Carnival, which has gained international attention for many years now, has been cancelled by the state government. Before now, top government officials have been confused as to the possibility of hosting this year’s edition of the carnival.
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And in Rivers State, some officials of the government are now on patrol in some streets, in search of people who are not wearing face mask in public places. Anybody found culpable will be arrested and prosecuted.
As the Cross River State government cancels the carnival, all those in the hospitality industry as well as tailors who sew costumes for the various bands will be the greatest losers. Ordinarily, hotels in Calabar would have been fully booked.
But the government may have taken the painful decision because of the rising cases of COVID 19 across the world, including Cross River, where the immediate past police commissioner was said to have died of COVID 19 related ailment, although the government has countered that information.
The government said in a statement during the weekend that “persons travelling into the state should observe compulsory isolation for seven days before mingling with members of the public and even family members especially older family members with other disease conditions that makes them more vulnerable to Dying from COVID-19.
“Persons experiencing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 should immediately reach the state epidemiologist on +234 803 869 9957 or the state response line.
In an interaction with the commissioner for Health Dr. Betta Edu, she said there was no lockdown for now in the state but added that the government will not hesitate to go into lockdown if need be.
The commissioner who is the chairman of COVID-19 response team in the state further revealed that the late state Commissioner of Police died in his house and not at the isolation centre as believed by many. She however said investigations are on to ascertain the cause of his death. She advised residents to take precautionary measures to stay safe.
She said “everything is being reviewed everyday at the EOC, so whenever we come to the conclusion of locking down we will. But this is where we are now. Whenever we review up to that point we will do it if we need it. We review everyday, so as we review we bring up new ones.
“The commissioner of police didn’t die at the isolation centre. He died in his house. He was dead on arrival. At the point when he arrived at the Teaching Hospital he was already dead. We’re yet to know whether he died of COVID-19 or not. We’re doing an investigation. We’ve taken samples and when we have the result we will let everybody know.
“Everybody needs to be careful. The new second wave in Nigeria is really very virulent and is even heavier than the first wave so people should not throw caution to the wind but should be careful. Protect yourself as you go out. First is the warning and if people don’t adhere then the taskforce will be deployed.”