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Fear of starvation made me relax lockdown in Anambra —Obiano

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The Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano on Monday explained that he relaxed the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the state in order to avoid starvation in the state.

The governor had imposed a lockdown on the state for 28 days in order to control the spread of the deadly virus in the state, which has spread to 32 states in the country, according to the latest data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)

According to Obiano, he also relaxed the lockdown so as to prevent possible social unrest.

The governor stated this in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba.

According to him, it was imperative that the state strike a balance between protecting the economy and public health in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor further said that easing the restriction on movement in the state was sequel to the treatment of the state’s index case as well as 68 contact persons who tested negative for the virus.

Obiano said: “Like every other government, the Anambra State administration is bound to protect its people from the ravages of COVID-19 but it cannot afford to do so by unwittingly allowing millions of its people to die of hunger and starvation or by causing their businesses to collapse through an unmitigated lockdown.

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“The 28 days of lockdown, when all markets were shut down, vehicular and human movements restricted, schools closed, traditional religious services suspended, funerals, wedding and title taking ceremonies practically stopped, have already taken an enormous toll on the people’s well being.

“Social unrest must be avoided. If people in developed nations could not accept more than three weeks of lockdown, despite the immense social safety nets for the poor and the huge amounts paid by governments directly to the citizens who lost their jobs in the wake of COVID-19, we can imagine what the most vulnerable in our society and elsewhere in Africa have been going through.”

Obiano however said that though the restriction has been eased, schools were not open yet and civil servants were still working from home, adding that no visitor was permitted into the state.

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