Anambra State Government has introduce a 9pm to 6am curfew and a trial mobile court in the state to mitigate the spread of the variant COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, who announced the measure on Friday in Awka, noted that it would complement government’s directive that Civil Servants from Grade Level 12 and below should work from home till further notice.
“Government has activated mobile courts to try COVID-19 protocol offenders.
“The state taskforce from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Trade and Commerce have been empowered to increase their hospitals and markets surveillance.
“They are to close immediately any hospital, either private or government owned, and markets that do not comply with COVID-19 protocols in their operations,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Dr Chinwe Uzowulu , Head of Department, Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, said the directives was to save lives and for the common good of the people.
“My problem with some government policy is that it looks like “Copy and Paste’’, without providing the necessary palliative to cushion the effect of the directive.
“Has government put down sincere actions to make people comply without violating the directive?
“Is government ready to supply basic needs of the people to make them stay indoors without going hungry? If you ask people to stay indoors without the provisions of basic needs, how will it work?,” she asked.
Uzowulu said that government did not take into considerations that some people start their business at the time of the curfew.
“The introduction of mobile court to try offenders is good, if the implementers would be fair to all in its operations without show of respect to political office holders and other wealthy persons.
“Government policies should be implemented with all seriousness, the taskforce should move round the schools, markets, hospitals, motor parks, restaurants clubs to ensure compliance.
“Asking people to stay away from business and work is crude and old fashioned; government should be sincere with its functions without inflicting injuries on the people,” she said.
Dr Basil Nwankwo, Chief Medical Officer, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital Amaku, described the policy as a good step in the right direction to control the spread of the virus.
Nwankwo said that people were not complying with the COVID -19 protocols and that medical workers are at high risk.
He urged the taskforce to take their job seriously.
Also, Mr Okwuchukwu Aganaekwu, a food vendor, said that the policy would affect his business badly, as he sells mostly at night.
Mr Christian Beluchukwu, a grocery shop owner, said that the curfew means business closure for him as he gets huge patronage mostly at night.
Beluchukwu appealed to government to rescind the policy and find alternative means to check defaulters urging residents to obey the preventive measures for all to stay in business.
Mrs Angela Imegwu a fruit seller said that the curfew was not the best way to mitigate spread of the virus as hunger may kill more residents than the virus.
“Government should ask the taskforce to patrol the communities to look for defaulters in place of the curfew.
“This policy is to make money for the people monitoring the compliance as they would intimidate mall operators, while big people who violate the protocols will go free, it happened during the lockdown,” she said. (NAN)