COVID-19: Rapid spread imminent in Imo

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  • As bus drivers, traders, others ignore physical distance

By AFAM Echi

There is strong suspicion that there may be a rapid spread of the dreaded Coronavirus in Imo if the non-adherence of the physical distance rule by the citizens is sustained.

Last Friday the Imo State Governor Senator Hope Uzodinma in manner of bowing to pressure from the people announced some measures to relax the lockdown. The lockdown which has lasted over six weeks apparently took a serious toll on the citizens.

Activities have since resumed in earnest in the state capital and beyond from Monday. However, it must be observed that the people have carried on as if there is an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

While it lasted Imo State have recorded two cases of the disease although there has not been any clear information about the victims from the government or the COVID-19 committee in the state

 When Edge Express visited the Ekeukwu and the Rotibi streets the traders were found in an upbeat and exciting mood doing their businesses. However, many were not found kitted with the required protective equipment nor were they keeping the physical distance rule.

The traders were found clustering around each other without space especially those operating in the open market. There was also no distance witnessed from those buying their products. This is in spite of the warnings from the government.

When we inquired from one Calister, a vegetable seller and another meat seller along the school road why they are not keeping distances from each other, both responded that there is not sufficient space in the market to do so.

Commercial motorists it was also observed are not in compliance with the physical distance rule as most of them were found maintaining the number of passengers they usually carry before the coronavirus.

One driver who gave his name as Mr. Collins in response on why he is still loading 8 passengers queried the reporter thus, ”Oga how do you think that we can cover with making account, buying of fuel, tipping police and army on the road, feeding, repair of vehicle, if we don’t carry full passengers.” He further explained that it has never been easy for them under normal situation talk less of the situation they now found themselves. Another concerned citizen who spoke under condition of anonymity expressed that the government silence on the two reported COVID-19 cases is not in the interest of the public some of who may have been infected by the victims and who would have continued to spread it unknown that they have contacted it.

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