The Abia State Government has extended the statewide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state by an additional one more week.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had ordered a statewide lockdown for one week in the first instance beginning from April 1, 2020.

However, in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem, in Umuahia, on Wednesday, the state government announced an additional seven days of lockdown.

Ezem said the state government was fully aware of the hardship caused by the lockdown but promised that it would continue to distribute foodstuffs to cushion the effects on residents.

The statement read in part, “The Abia State Government hereby announces the extension of the lockdown order by seven days effective from Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

“This extension is necessary to confirm that we are indeed free of the virus. This is because the normal incubation period for the virus is 14 days.

“Government is aware of the hardship and inconvenience this situation has brought upon our people. But it is better to live with temporary inconvenience than to expose ourselves to this disease in search of comfort.

“The NCDC is still tracking over 2,000 suspected cases across the country. While these persons are not from Abia, this is a time that calls for extra vigilance.

“Within this period, the government will continue to distribute some food items, sanitizers and face masks which commenced officially today (Wednesday).

“Government hereby directs all the various enforcement teams at the state and local government levels as well as all security agencies to continue the enforcement of the directives on lockdown at the borders, markets, transport operators, religious groups and all forms of public gathering.”