Akwa Ibom State Government has declared that it would henceforth enforce a “no face mask, no trading” directive in market places in the state to check the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem made this known during a security council meeting on Friday in Uyo.
Ekuwem stressed that the State government would no longer tolerate citizens and residents who flout those guidelines and safety measures put in place to curtail the spread of COVID-19, including the 8 pm-6 am curfew.
He, therefore, warned that anybody who failed to keep to those guidelines and safety measures especially the wearing of face mask in public places and inside commercial vehicles would face severe punishment.
His words, “I want to use this forum to State clearly that we will no longer tolerate citizens and residents who refuse to comply with the safety protocols and guidelines enunciated by the COVID-19 Incident Management Committee (IMC), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and World Health Organization (WHO).
“We will strictly enforce, ‘No face mask, no trading, in all the markets in the state, and the transportation sector. Commuters and operators of tricycles, motorcycles, and minibusses must wear a face mask. There will be no exception.
“Also we reiterate that the state government ban on borders is still in force. The State borders remain closed except for those on essential services, and those transporting foodstuff and construction materials for projects going on in the state”
Ekuwem, however, warned that those transporting foodstuffs and building materials must adhere strictly to the 8 pm to 6 am curfew imposed in the state, adding that defaulters would be prosecuted.
He urged members of the public to understand that government means well for them stressing, “By wearing face mask you are doing yourself a favor, members of your family and the larger society. It is for the good of all. We cannot allow this contagion weaken the economy of Akwa Ibom state”.