COVID-19: Wike sends ‘strangers’ packing from Rivers State as he confirms new index cases

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in a broadcast yesterday, has announced complete lockdown that starts today and would last till further notice.

The lockdown order affects parts of Port Harcourt (Elekahia, Rumuomasi, Stadium road and Rumuobiokani) and Obio/Akpor local government areas following the failure of residents of the affected areas to comply with the regulations put in place by the state government to check the spread of coronavirus.

Wike in his broadcast said; “All residents in these areas must stay at home. All shops, mini-markets, offices and business outfits in these areas must also cease to operate until further notice,”.

The governor also gave a situation report on COVID-19 in the state even as he urged Rivers people to remain steadfast.

“As at April 26, Rivers State had six confirmed cases of COVID-19, with two fully recovered and discharged, two confirmed deaths, while two are active and presently receiving treatment in our isolation and treatment centre at Nchia General Hospital, Eleme. The recent positive cases, in spite of the strategic measures we have put in place, are clear evidence of gradual increase in transmission of the virus, which has happened as a result of the actions of those who either chose to breach or sabotage our directives on lockdown and social distancing. We consider the emerging trend as not only serious and risky, but also, one that compels us to step-up our strategies and prevent a spike in the transmission of the coronavirus in our State,” he said.

Wike berated security agencies for allowing travellers to enter and leave the state at will despite the closure of the state’s borders. The governor also directed the Commissioner for Social Welfare to round up and deport all vagrants to their states of origin. He said Rivers residents should be prepared for stringent measures of a state lockdown if the situation did not improve.

He disclosed that the Task Force on Border Closure would be inaugurated today to effectively monitor the boundaries and ensure that no unauthorised “person and or vehicle leaves or enters our state under any guise in breach of the lockdown order.”

“With these measures and ceaseless supplications to God, we are confident to win the battle against COVID-19 in our state.”


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