AS a way of tackling the coronavirus, major markets in Benin City, the Edo State capital are to be shut for one week with effect from Wednesday April 8, just as two more people have tested positive for the pandemic bringing the total number of cases in the state to 11.
The deputy governor of the state, Phillip Shaibu, who announced this in Benin during a meeting with leaders of market women, explained that the decision was taken in order to allow for a proper fumigation of all the markets in Benin.
Shaibu debunked the report that Governor Godwin Obaseki was down with the disease, insisting that he (Obaseki) was hale and hearty and only went on self isolation after meeting Mr. Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Shaibu said during the fumigation process, the traders will be relocated to public primary and secondary schools.
He said that the state Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) had been mandated to maintain peace at the makeshift markets, noting that armed policemen and officials of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) will not be allowed into the premises as they will be outside to maintain peace.
The deputy governor said that only dealers in foodstuffs will be accommodated at each of the temporary markets while the rest will have to wait till April 15 when the markets re-open, adding that the government decided to take the middle course instead of a total closure.
The deputy governor who expressed the readiness of the state government to curtail the disease, stressed that so far 234 people have been tested for the disease.