On Monday, the Abia government began a state-wide fumigation of major markets, local government secretariats, schools, stadia as well as public buildings and roads in major towns and cities.
Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia, Dr Solomon Ogunji, leader of the Committee on COVID-19 handling the fumigation, said that the exercise would further prevent the spread of the pandemic into Abia.
Ogunji, who is the Commissioner for Environment, said that the exercise would last for three days.
He said that the committee would deploy manual spraying cans as well as motorised machines and fire-fighting trucks for the exercise.
The committee leader thanked Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for approving the state-wide fumigation, saying that it would go a long way to protect the citizenry from contracting the deadly virus.
Also, the Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Chinagozi Adindu, said that 120 Environmental Health Officers were trained for the exercise.
Adindu said that the officers would specifically carry out the fumigation in schools and public places in the 17 local government areas.
He described the exercise as part of the government’s proactive measures to forestall the spread of the virus in the state.
The executive secretary advised residents to comply with the government’s directives and remain at home to avoid inhaling the hydrocarbon chemical that is harmful to health.
NAN reports that some of the manual fumigators were seen carrying out the exercise on Aba Road, Umuahia.
Some residents, who spoke on the exercise in an interview with NAN, described it as commendable and timely.
Public affairs analysts, Mr Ambrose Nwachukwu and Uche Nwosu, along with Obinna Ibe, the Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Abia council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said the fumigation would further help to contain the spread of the pandemic in the state.
They said that embarking on the fumigation during the lockdown when residents were already confined to their homes, was well-advised.
They admonished residents, especially asthmatic patients, to remain at home during the remaining period of the lockdown to avoid inhaling the chemical.
“Since the fumigation is for three days, it is expected that the effect of the chemical would have subsided by Friday when the lockdown will end,” Ibe said.
The state government has announced that the lockdown, which commenced on April 1, would end on Friday, April 17, after it was relaxed for three days to enable residents to restock their foodstuffs and attend Easter church services.