Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has cancelled the lockdown earlier imposed in the state as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
On May 7, the governor announced a 24-hour lockdown in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas of the state. However, in a state broadcast this afternoon, Governor Wike announced the lifting of the lockdown. He said no part of Rivers state will be under lockdown from May 26.
”In the last two months we have implemented several calculated measures in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in our State. Some of these measures were severe, but necessary, including the total lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas, which are, without doubt, the social and economic never-centres of our State.
Arguably, these measures and your sacrifices have enabled us so far, to contain and limit the spread of this virus to 4 out of the 23 local government areas of the State. Also, the pattern of infection remains predictable, as there is yet, any evidence of serious community transmission, although this cannot be ruled out with the increasing number of positive cases; the majority of which, are connected with contacts with oil company workers who imported the disease into the State.
And so, while we should all still be concerned, since our set goals in the battle against the virus are not yet achieved, there is no need to fear. We are totally in control, working hard every day and believing that the worst will soon be behind us.
In continuation of our struggle against the spread of covid-19 in our State, we had planned to resume the total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas from Wednesday 27th May 2020.
However, after a comprehensive review of the measures we have taken and further considerations placed before us by well-meaning members of the public, the State Security Council has decided to cancel the proposed lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the State.
In essence, no part of Rivers State is or will be under any lockdown from this moment and this will be so, except where it becomes necessary again.” he said.
The governor added that all land borders will remain closed, and that anyone seen without a face mask will be arrested.
”All land borders, including all exit and entry routes into Rivers State shall remain closed to human and vehicular traffic, except those on essential services and duly exempted. All residents must wear face masks or covering into any public space, including our roads, banks, shopping malls, shops, hotels and in any lawful social gathering.
The State task force and the security agencies have been directed to arrest and summarily prosecute any person seen on our streets or any other public place without wearing face masks.
All banks, motor parks, hotels, restaurants, shops, business centres, shopping malls, and offices must maintain social distancing and enforce the wearing of face masks in their premises.
The State task force and security agencies have been directed to seal up, prosecute and confiscate to the State any bank, shopping mall, restaurant, shop, business place or office that fails to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in its premises.
In addition to providing daily guest list to the Police and the Department of State Security, hoteliers must not host large gatherings, including parties and receptions. Defaulting hotels will be sealed-up and the owners summarily prosecuted.’‘ he said
Speaking further, the governor warned hoteliers against hosting large gatherings such as receptions or parties. He said any hotel that defaults will be sealed and the owner prosecuted. He said weddings, burials, and large gatherings remain banned.
In addition to providing daily guest list to the Police and the Department of State Security, hoteliers must not host large gatherings, including parties and receptions. Defaulting hotels will be sealed-up and the owners summarily prosecuted.
“All bars, beer palours, or drinking joints, night-clubs, viewing centres, open markets and cinemas shall remain closed until further notice;
Oil mill market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall remain closed until further notice
Oginigba Slaughter market in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area shall similarly remain closed until further notice.
Mbiama market in Ahoada West Local Government Area shall also remain closed until further notice;
All public weddings, burials and large social gatherings shall remain banned.
Churches and other religious gatherings should continue to comply with the existing advisory on social distancing, initiate temperature checks and enforce the wearing of face masks during their activities”.