By Chukwuemeka Opara
Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has permitted burial ceremonies to hold in the state between April 9 and April 20, 2020 as he intensifies efforts to prevent the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the state government had suspended burials and other social gatherings in the state as part of precautionary measures to prevent the pandemic.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Uchenna Orji, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, which indicated that it was part of the state Executive Council’s extra-ordinary meeting held on April 8.
Orji explained that organisers of such funerals must, however, notify the state Ministry of Information and Orientation in writing.
“The burials must be attended only by family members of not more than 20 persons and the organisers must provide hand sanitisers, nose masks, running water for hand washing among other precautionary measures.
“The government shall send representatives to such burials to ensure that the precautionary measures are complied-with,” he said.
The commissioner also disclosed that the state government had released N1billion for the purchase of 400,000 bags of 5kg rice and other foodstuffs as palliatives.
“The fund will also be used for the production of 400, 000 nose masks as a take-off palliative for the vulnerable groups in the state.
“The governor during the meeting, directed the immediate disbursement of N2 billion Medium Enterprises (SME) facility for the empowerment of youths and women in entrepreneurship and vocational programmes,” Orji said.
He also said that any pastor or officiating minister who failed to enforce the precautionary measures for the conduct of Easter service would be prosecuted.
“This will be in accordance with the Ebonyi Coronavirus and Other Dangerous (Infectious) Disease and Related Matters Law 06 of 2020,” the statement added.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the governor had approved that church services could hold on Easter Sunday alone.