Joe Effiong, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State government has reversed itself on the COVID-19 lockdown extension less than three hours after extending it by two weeks.

The chief judge of the state, Justice Godwin Abraham, in company with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, had earlier in the day announced an extension of the COVID-19 lockdown by another 14 days to expire on April 30, 2020.

Related: Akwa Ibom extends lockdown to April 30, violators get 7 days community service

But barely three hours afterwards, the secretary to the state government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, came up with another directive that Gov. Udom Emmanuel only approved the lockdown extension by only 7 days.

“Following the enforcement of the Quarantine and Restrictions of Movement Regulations 2020 with some economic discomforts to citizens and residents of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency the Governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, compassionate and sensitive to these discomforts, has directed that the lockdown is extended by one week only.

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“The lockdown be responsibly and carefully lifted on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April 2020 from 6 am to 1 pm of each day to enable Akwa Ibomites re-stock foodstuff and any prescribed medications. Lockdown will be enforced after 1 pm on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April 2020

“All preventive measures earlier announced by the Akwa Ibom State government COVID-19 medical management team remain in force during and after the 7-hour respite on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 April 2020.

“Lockdown enforcement includes Jumat services on Friday 17 April and church services on Sunday 19 April 2020.

“Akwa Ibom State government will continue to monitor and review the COVID-19 situation globally and nationally in general and in our state in particular so as to respond speedily and appropriately to protect the health of our citizens,” Ekuwem’s statement said.