Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano today announced the reopening of all markets in the state next week Monday, 4th May 2020.
The governor had over the weekend directed that food and drug markets resume normal business activities today but said reopening of other markets will be after he meets with the traders today.
After a closed-door meeting with the leaders of all 61 markets across the state, Governor Obiano it was resolved that the markets be reopened next week.
He, however, said for the markets to reopen, they must during the week, set up taskforces which will be trained by the state government on COVID-19 compliance and enforcement of restrictions directed by the government.
“Between now and Monday, there are a lot of things they need to do to ensure that they are COVID-19 compliant. The taskforce must ensure that the markets adhere to the safety rules as stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) especially on social distancing, provision of handwashing facilities and sanitizers, wearing of face masks among others. It is imperative to state that it is only markets that comply with this directive that will reopen on Monday,” he explained.
He said another function of the task force is to alert the medical teams that will be stationed at the markets when they observed persons with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for prompt attention.
“What the state government has done by these initiatives is that we have pushed the responsibility of protecting yourselves to you. Heed all these directives and you will do your businesses and be alive,” the governor told the traders.
Obiano said the measures are mainly to safeguard the lives of the traders by preventing the transmission of the deadly virus.
“I know the hardship that is associated with the closure of the markets for close to one month now and now we are adding one more week. But that will ensure that we are alive to enjoy the money that we make from these businesses. Life is key in everything and my government appreciates that” Obiano said.
He also appealed to industrialists who had earlier shut down to reopen to ensure that the state economy bounces back to life.
According to him, the Central Bank of Nigeria has floated a 50 billion naira COVID loan facility to support businesses that were adversely affected by the pandemic and his government will support the businessmen access the loans.
Obiano said movement across the state has been granted to help business activities but maintained that the state borders remain closed.
He also said schools and government offices remain closed for now.
The governor further revealed that the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has approved the upgrade of a laboratory at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku-Awka to test samples for Coronavirus.
All the 70 samples tested already in Anambra State, were done at the testing centre at Irua, Delta State.