IMO State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has voiced his displeasure at surge of people testing positive for COVID-19 and those dying of the infection in his state have increased.
Uzodimma disclosed this while addressing State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in his office at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said: “The number of people testing positive and dying is on the increase, state government alone cannot, as a matter of honesty, summon the capacity and resources to address this menace. So, we also pleaded and Mr. President has promised that he will intervene.
“Three months ago, we commissioned Risk Communication Centre in Owerri for the purposes of creating awareness and getting our people to know the danger inherent in being careless and contracting this pandemic.
The governor said his administration had put a couple of measures in place, including the use of town criers, to help with risk communication and community engagement with the people on the spread of the disease.
He added that he had already introduced sanctions for people refusing to wear face masks in compliance with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) protocols on COVID-19, adding that the state already had in place a task force on the spread of the virus and that measures were being taken to reduce the spread of the disease and ensure the safety of all citizens.
“We have gone further; we did a summit with all the traditional rulers and as I speak to you, in Imo State, all the community leaders have engaged town criers. Few days ago, I issued an Executive Order to make not wearing mask a crime in Imo State. So, any moment from now, we will begin to arrest people refusing to wear mask. I have given a 14-day ultimatum for all coming into Imo State to wear their face mask and comply with NCDC protocol or be arrested and tried.”