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‘High compliance to anti-COVID-19 measures in Onitsha markets’

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PRESIDENT-GENERAL, Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu has said that  there is a high level of compliance in keeping directives of government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by operators in markets in Onitsha.

The Anambra Government believes that if it is able to achieve compliance in Onitsha markets, it will be able to curb spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.

“I am the President-General of the markets, if these directives to curb the spread of the virus are not maintained, I could have received contrary reports regarding this,” Mr Ekwegbalu said at his Modebe Avenue, Onitsha, office during an interview.

“During the lockdown, the traders were not happy, but were compelled to obey government directives.

“Since the general re-opening of markets in the state, there has been total compliance. Anybody without face mask is not allowed inside the market”.

Chairman of the Main Market section, Mr Kenneth Onyeka said that traders and their customers were largely complying.

“We have been very strict over this; we do not charge defaulters but merely insist that they purchase a face mask right there and wear it before being allowed into the market,” he said.

 “Before the reopening of the markets on May 4, we inaugurated taskforce on security which was attended by ASMATA PG and Commissioner for Commerce and Wealth Creation, Mr Uchenna Okafor.

“The security taskforce team comprised 350 men; we tasked them to ensure that the directives of government are strictly maintained and defaulters handled accordingly.

“There has been low crime rate since lockdown because our security taskforce and those of the various lines have been mandated to be on duty to ensure everything is safe. Our security system is intact,” Onyeka stressed.

 Chairman, Anambra North Vigilance Group, Mr Chinenye Ihenko observed that Anambra Government has been considerate. “We have been able to control crime in and around the markets because we are committed to our jobs.

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