Awka – With Christmas less than 3 weeks away, Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has asked traders in the state to be more cautious and observe all the coronavirus protocols to ensure that figures do not escalate during the Christmas and new year period.
Obiano gave the warning on Monday at the conference Hall of the SSG, Government House, Awka during a meeting between the State Government and market leaders.
Markets across the state had been shut as parts of efforts to flatten the curve of the virus during the first wave, and with the second wave of the virus at hand, rumours have it that government may soon shut down the markets again.
At the meeting, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke said Government has always done its part in providing an enabling environment for traders to do business but noted that it will not always be there to monitor what is going on in the market.
“It is our responsibility to make sure that the Covid-19 protocols are being adhered to strictly in our markets. As we expect our family and friends coming home this yuletide from different countries of the world, let us also remember that Covid-19 is very much around and deadly and some of these family members of ours are coming from countries that have very high cases of infections. That is the reason why we should ensure strict compliance with the protocols so that we will be safe,” he said.
On his part, Hon. Uche Okafor Wiper, Commissioner for Trade and Commerce commended traders in the state for assisting the state government in managing the spread of the deadly virus.
The Commissioner recalled that during the peak of COVID 19 in the state, the Governor directed all markets to set up ‘wash’ centres where customers and traders alike wash their hands regularly and the order was carried to the letter.
“Traders are critical stakeholders in the state and the partnership between them and government is very critical in achieving many things, whether it is battling COVID-19 or bringing about the desired transformation across all our sectors,” he said.
Explaining the need to maintain coronavirus safety protocols, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Ogochukwu Okpala noted that the cases of Covid-19 in the state remain the least in the South Eastern.
“Anambra state couldn’t have achieved this without the policy put in place by the state government in our markets and the support of market leaders,” Okpala posited.
He however, advised them to be more watchful this period as the COVID threat has not abated.
In his words, “COVID never left us. It is still active and still killing people everyday. We must do our best this Christmas period and still remind our people to be watchful and careful of who we visit and the gatherings we attend”.