Activities resumed in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, on Friday as government announced relaxation of the lockdown imposed in the state in order to check the spread of the coronavirus.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government on Thursday announced the relaxation of the extended seven-day lockdown in view of the impending Easter celebration.
Chris Ezem, Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the COVID-19 Committee, had stated that there would be free movement within the state between 6am on Friday and 2pm on Easter Sunday.
The government also stated that the seven-day extension would continue from 3pm on April 12 to April 17, 2020.
A NAN correspondent who monitored the development reports that residents besieged markets and malls to buy food items and others in preparation for Easter celebration.
There were also human and vehicular movements in the capital city that had witnessed virtually empty streets during the nine-day lockdown that commenced on April 1.
Religious worshippers, including Christians and Muslims in some of the churches and mosques visited, were engaged in prayers.
NAN reports that the institutions had their water, soap and sanitisers in strategic positions for the worshippers as well as face masks as directed by the government as part of safety measures against the spread of COVID-19.
However, some of the ever busy hotels, eateries and relaxation centres witnessed low patronage.
Joyce Nlewechi, a female clerk in one of the relaxation centres, attributed the situation to financial difficulties people might have witnessed during the past days.
Nlewechi said: “We came out for business today but as you can see, customers are not forthcoming.
“This sit-at-home order is really affecting everybody.
“Some people may have decided to stay at home until the order is over or they don’t have enough money, but this is affecting our business negatively.
“We pray for the end to this coronavirus problem.”