…We have made progress in the fight against COVID-19
By Festus Ahon, ASABA
DELTA State Government said it has made reasonable progress in the first against the ravaging coronavirus, announcing the reopening of cinemas, film Houses, eateries and hotel restaurants in the State.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu who stated this during a press conference in Asaba, however, said cinemas and other hotel restaurants should operate at 50 per cent of their capacity and ensure the observation of all COVID-19 preventive protocols issued by the NCDC.
Noting that the state government would continue to monitor the operations of these cinemas and film houses to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 preventive measures, Aniagwu said restaurants in hotels could now operate but without a buffet.
He held that “if people must be allowed to eat in the hotel restaurants, the officials must be the ones to serve them.
“Recall that in our last press briefing, we mentioned that churches and worship centres can now hold more than one service, that still remains, but today we are announcing further relaxation of the COVID-19 protocol and that is to the effect that owners of movies and cinema houses can now operate.
“But they can only do so at 50 percent capacity, in which case they are not going to fill everywhere. For instance if a movie theatre is supposed to take 50 persons, they should organise it such that it will take 25 persons at a time.
“They must constantly fumigate the halls, just as they must also observe all the important protocols that we have reeled out in the past, that is sanitising or washing of hands of persons coming into the theatre houses, and of course wearing of face mask is compulsory for everybody going to access such movie houses.
“We will continue to monitor what different persons are doing and if anybody is found to have contravened the protocols we are giving out, be rest assured that we will take action.
“We sympathise with them because we know what it takes for their business centres to be closed for this period of time but its important that we preserve the lives of our people.
“As we continue to review the processes, we will inform them on further directives but for now, they must operate at 50 per cent and then observing other preventive protocols.
“Our decision is to also enable our people working in such places to return to work and to also allow these businesses become functional again.”
Speaking further, Aniagwu said “clubs and lounges remained closed until government devises a solution on how they can be reopened without aggravating the spread of the virus.
“For some of the places where people go to relax, what is important is that they must observe all the preventive protocols but we haven’t taken decisions as to lounges and bars.
“We have made reasonable progress in the fight against the pandemic and we must thank our people for their cooperation and understanding while we continue to plead that the use of face masks is still very much compulsory.”
On curfew time, Aniagwu disclosed that the state government had also adjusted its curfew time to 12 midnight to 4am in line with the Presidential Task Force directive.
He said the state government will continue to remain transparent, open and accountable to the people towards COVID-19 donations just as it had published names of donors who assisted the state during the pandemic.