By Jude Atupulazi
The Anambra State Government is to prosecute defaulters of proper wearing of face mask in a bid to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
This was contained in a press statement signed by C. Don Adinuba, the Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment and made available to Fides.
Adinuba noted that since the wearing of face coverings in public became compulsory in Anambra State as part of the strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of the citizenry had been complying with the directive, describing it as a good development.
He however said the state government had noted that the face masks were often not worn appropriately.
He said, ‘There are people who wear theirs on the chin and some on their jaw. There are individuals who wear the face masks to cover their mouth, but not their nostrils. None of these practices is proper.
‘The face mask must always cover the mouth and the nose. This is because coronavirus enters our system through such orifices as the eyes, the nostrils and the mouth. This is why some people wear, not just face masks which cover their mouths and noses, but also face shields which cover their eyes, in addition.’
Adinuba said government’s insistence on the compulsory and proper adorning of face masks in public places in Anambra State was done in the interest of every individual in the state, as COVID 19 was real.
He noted that it had killed nine persons in the state and a number of Anambra individuals outside. The victims, he said, included old people and youths of both genders.
‘The Anambra State government does not want more of our people to get infected by this highly contagious disease, let alone die of it. Consequently, the government is establishing mobile courts in different parts of the state to try those who contravene the new law on COVID-19 like individuals who do not wear face coverings or do not wear them properly. The punishments include payment of up to N10, 000 fine and performance of community service,’ the commissioner stated.
According to him, to check the spread of the coronavirus in the state and ensure that Anambra remained the safest state in Nigeria, including in health matters, Anambrians should continue to observe social distancing of six feet, wash their hands frequently with soap, water and sanitizer, avoid handshakes and embraces, as well as wear face masks in the right way anytime they were in public.