Enugu Makes Use of Face Masks Compulsory


Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu

Following the decision by the federal government to ease the lockdown order imposed on the states as part of measures to help check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, business activities yesterday returned in Enugu State.

The state main market, Ogbete, which had been closed for the past few weeks, with its roads empty, yesterday began to bubble again with activities as sellers of essential commodities, including food stuffs and pharmaceuticals, opened their shops for business.

It was, however, discovered that there was widespread compliance with the use of face masks as directed by the state government.

The state Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, had earlier told THISDAY that the state government decided to adopt the compulsory use of face masks following its decision to ease the lockdown order and allow the people to do their businesses.

He explained that the state government had met with authorities of the state main market, including the Enugu North Local Government Authority and security agencies, where it was decided that the market would open on a daily basis from 8a.m. and close by 2p.m.

“We also decided that not all sections of the market will be open on a daily basis in order to help us deal with the problem of our people and also control the number of people coming into the market,” he explained.

Despite the restriction on the number of businesses, both ends of the roads leading to the market were almost impassable as a result of human and vehicular activities.

Dealers in all kinds of face masks were seen calling out prospective customers.

Most of the people who spoke on the condition of anonymity expressed happiness at having the opportunity to come out again after more than a month of staying indoors without business.

They said they have at least made some sales which would help them stay indoors in case the government decides to enforce the order again.

Individuals who came to buy equally expressed excitement at the decision by the state government to ease the lockdown.

Also, when THISDAY visited several banks within the Enugu metropolis, customers were seen putting on their face masks as directed by the bank authorities in line with directives by the state government.