The Anambra State Government has announced plans to reopen the 63 major markets in the state on May 4 after closure since late March.
Governor Willie Obiano made this known to journalists at Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area on Monday, after his brief meeting with the 63 market leaders in the state.
He said each market should set up a task force that would be trained by the state government on COVID-19 safety compliance principle to achieve greater success to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The governor said that the essence of the meeting was to ensure that adequate measures were taken against COVID-19 pandemic in the state before the reopening of its major markets.
Mr Obiano urged the market leaders to forward 20 to 30 names that would form part of the task force that would monitor compliance.
He noted that the members of the task force would be trained within the week before reopening of the markets on May 4 on precautionary measures of COVID-19.
Mr Obiano said the training would also include adequate sensitisation on COVID-19 directives such as maintaining social distancing, wearing of face mask, washing of hand with soap, hand sanitiser, among others.
The governor said the boundaries of the state would remain closed.
"We put these measures to ensure safety so as to be alive and enjoy our families.
"Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has agreed to upgrade the laboratory in Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital to become a test centre.
"Traders have agreed to take precautionary measures as well as close the markets at 4 p.m. each day to avoid spreading the virus.
"Right now, schools and government offices are still closed. We should also remind ourselves of compulsory wearing of face masks," Mr Obiano said.
The Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Uche Okafor, said modalities to reopen the markets had been set up to ensure compliance of COVID-19 safety measures by the traders.
Mr Okafor said the market leaders had adopted the existing task force in various markets for the training and assured total compliance with government directives.
The President-General, Anambra Amalgamated Traders Association, Ikechukwu Ekwegba, gave an assurance of strict compliance with the governor's directives and conditions.
Mr Ekwegba said the leaders of the 63 markets in Anambra commended the proactive measures taken by the Obiano's administration to ensure the safety of the people against the coronavirus pandemic.