Anambra Commences Total Lockdown, Arrests Commuters, Travellers

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Willie Obiano

•Condemns criminalisation of state COVID-19 index case

By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Security operatives in Anambra State have commenced the enforcement of the total lockdown order announced by the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, after its COVID-19 index case was unveiled.

The state government has also condemned the open criminalisation of the state index case of COVID-19.

THISDAY observed that roadside traders, newspaper vendors, intrastate/intra-city transporters were all sent back home, while few who are allowed to move around the city were made to properly identify themselves.

Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force were seen in all major roads in the state sending back citizens to their homes.

The spokesperson for the state Police Command, SP Haruna Mohammed, in a statement made available to THISDAY, said: “The Anambra State Police Command wishes to inform the public that the Command, in compliance with the directives of the state governments in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, has commenced total enforcement of lockdown order in the state with immediate effect.

“In view of this, the public is kindly requested to stay at home. No movement, no local transportation. The index case has been in the state since March 28, and has socialised extensively with others.

“This extreme restriction became necessary in order to identify and isolate primary and secondary contacts as well as ensure that no further spread as the contact tracing is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, some commercial bus drivers and their passengers have been arrested at Amansea, a border community the state shares with Enugu State, while trying to sneak out of the state last Saturday night.

The media aide to the state Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Christian Madubuko, Mr.

Stephen Anigbogu, told THISDAY that the commissioner rushed to the border community after he was alerted of the attempt by the commuters to forcefully move out of the state.

Meanwhile, the state government has condemned the open criminalisation of the state index case of COVID-19.

A statement issued by the state Information Commissioner, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, decried various social media publications, which named the patient, and called on the people to distance themselves from him.

Communities in the state had also released statements disclaiming the patient as their indigene.

But Adinuba, while replying to the issue, condemned the actions, saying the patient needs the support of all to remain emotionally balanced for treatment to continue.

He urged those unveiling his identity to desist from it, as it was against medical best practices in handling the disease.