The South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), umbrella body of all traders in the South-East, has urged traders to shelve all business trips to China and other Asia countries.
This appeal was contained in a statement signed by the President-General of SEAMATA, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary-General, Mr Alex Okwudili, made available to newsmen in Enugu on Thursday.
According to the statement, the association is passionately appealing to all our members and indeed, Nigerians to shelve all business trips to China, other Asian and Far East countries for now, until the deadly coronavirus epidemic is successfully and effectively contained.
“SEAMATA wishes to inform all our members in particular and all the traders across the federation in general, to be on red alert over the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus epidemic currently in China and other Asian and Far East countries.
“Which incidentally, remain the business destinations of our members in their numbers.
“The association calls on all members to use for now, electronic and internet channels in dealing with their partners in China and other Asian countries until a remarkable improvement in the control of the deadly coronavirus is achieved and the virus totally eradicated.
“In line with the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health, the association is reminding our teeming members across the federation to always make use of surgical masks in crowded places.
“Traders and Nigerians in general should maintain a very high standard of personal hygiene and always have hand sanitizers handy to keep the risk of infection at a distance,’’ it said.
The statement reminded Nigerians to always remember that “once anyone is infected with the virus, the individual’s household members, friends, associates and indeed the entire society including the churches and markets are in a serious danger.
“This is the reason we should try to avoid trips to nations battling with the virus presently for now, until the situation is under control.
“Our earnest prayers are for God to protect each and every one of us and the members of our families and our nation from this virus. Thank you for heeding to this our distress call,’’ it noted.
It would be recalled that China had recorded over 170 deaths from the virus, which has also killed dozens in other Asian countries and thousands with the Asia continent and Far East are already infected.