Governor Udom Emmanuel has signed the COVID-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared COVID-19 a dangerous infectious disease.
In a statement issued on Monday by the Commissioner of Information in the state, Charles Udoh, the governor exercised the powers conferred on him by “Sections 4 and 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 1 (1) (c) of the Akwa Ibom State Infectious Disease(Control of Spread) Law, 2014, and all other enabling powers.”
Governor Emmanuel noted that the new law which covers the entire 32 Local Government Areas of the state is in “view of the serious and imminent threat to Public Health by the pandemic COVID-19, a dangerous infectious disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
“The whole area of land mass and water that constitute Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria consisting of thirty-one (31) Local Government Areas is hereby declared a Local Health Area.
“It is hereby declared that COVID-19 is a Dangerous Infectious Disease within the meaning and intendment of Section 2 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004, constitutes a serious and imminent threat to the public Health of the people in the Local Area,” the statement read in part.
The governor also restricted the movement of persons and vehicles to further prevent the spread of disease in the state.
The directives ensure that: commercial tricycles shall carry not more than two passengers only; mini buses shall carry not more than one passenger per row; and a private vehicle shall carry not more than two persons at the back seat and one on the front Seat.
“All public burials, public weddings, and other forms of public gatherings are for the time being hereby prohibited.
“All places of religious worship, churches, and mosques shall strictly observe the social distancing prescription of a minimum of one metre spacing and not more than twenty persons per gathering. In addition, hand washing facility with running water, soap and sanitizer shall be made available,” the governor said.
Although the government placed a ban on all public parks, shops, eateries, clubs, restaurants, markets and offices within the state, it however granted waiver on those selling foodstuffs, drugs and other essential commodities.
According to the Commissioner, the state government will prosecute anyone found culpable of disobeying the directive in accordance with the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Akwa Ibom State Infectious Disease (Control of Spread) Law, 2014 or any other applicable law in that regard.