Imo State Government has, in its renewed effort to enforce strict compliance with the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, threatened to arrest and prosecute any person that failt adhere to wearing a face mask and observe social distance.
Governor of the State, Hope Uzodimma, who read the riot act in a broadcast Friday evening, announced the setting up of four Mobile Courts, two in Owerri and one each in Okigwe Zones and Orlu, to try those who treat with levity, the protocols on COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures.
His read: “Imo State COVID-19 Committee and relevant agencies in the Ministry of Health, have been empowered to arrest and prosecute anyone seen in public without a face mask. Such offenders when convicted, would be liable to a maximum jail term of six months or N20,000 in lieu.
“In the same vein, the Executive Order further provides that any gathering of more than 50 persons anywhere in the state, is an offence. The conveners of such gatherings also risk six months in prison or N20,000 in lieu.
“All hotels, eateries, supermarkets and stores are by the Executive Order, compelled to provide hand sanitisers, wash handstands, test the temperature of their customers and insist on a face mask before admitting them into their premises. Failure to adhere to these directives, such stores, hotels, eatery or night clubs, will be permanently shut down.
“In addition, the proprietors will be prosecuted. These measures, equally apply to all forms of religious gatherings, marriages, funerals and markets.”
The Governor reiterated the earlier warning that no one would be allowed to enter any public building in the state without wearing a facemask, adding that “heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, have been directed to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are strictly observed in their offices and businesses with the public.”