Umahi shuts courts as Ebonyi records first COVID-19 death

Umahi shuts courts as Ebonyi records first COVID-19 death

By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

All the courts in Ebonyi State have been put under lock and key following a directive by Governor David Umahi to that effect.

The courts are to remain shut for 10 days, the governor said in a broadcast in which he announced the first coronavirus related death in the state.

The closure, according to him, was meant to make allowance for the fumigation of the buildings and premises.


He also ordered that all the staff of the Judiciary in the state and their families should immediately proceed for Covid-19 tests.

Umahi said: “It is unfortunate that we have recorded one death due to Covid-19 and it makes me so sad,” he said.

“I am directing that in line with the Covid-19 law, all the courts in Ebonyi State be shut down for the next 10 days.

“The Judiciary, State High Court, Industrial Court, Federal High Court, Magistrate courts should all be shut down.

“Also, I advise all the Judiciary officers and their families to undergo Covid-19 tests. I have ordered that all the judiciary buildings and premises should be immediately fumigated within the 10 days.”

The governor advised market women and men and churches to take the Covid-19 safety protocols seriously for their own good.

He regretted that people are not taking the pandemic as seriously as they ought to and warned that any church or market found flouting the Covid-19 law would be shutdown.

He said: “We are not contemplating closing markets and churches, but we advise them to please take this matter seriously. If you are working, ensure that you sanitise yourself every 10 minutes.”

“This is very serious. We have a spike because we have a high testing. People may have the Covid-19 but won’t show any symptoms but will go about spreading it.

“Some people with the virus will argue that they are not showing any symptoms. Yes, your immune system is fighting it but the next person that may be weaker than you is at danger and our job is to protect everybody in Ebonyi.”

Governor Umahi regretted that the state has recorded some other deaths due to lack of attention to other ailments by medical workers.

“There are some other deaths that are not connected with Covid-19. I want to plead with our hospitals to please isolate any Covid-19 suspected case to our isolation centres so that our people who are sick can get treatment.”

“People are dying because they can no longer get medical treatment. All our attention is being diverted to Covid-19 treatment.

“Sometimes people are afraid to go to the hospital because they are afraid they might contact Covid-19 and because they are not sure how the hospitals will handle them.

“I appeal that people should be allowed to get their normal medical treatments to save lives.”

The governor said the two isolation centres at Unity Square Abakaliki and the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital were already filled up with patients.

“Fortunately, we had envisaged this and quickly moved to renovate the Elinwovbu General Hospital. The hospital with 150 bed capacity has been upgraded to a Covid-19 isolation centre with all the necessary facilities.”

He said more general hospitals would be converted to isolation centres as his administration was determined to do all within its powers to protect the lives of the people from the deadly pandemic.

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