BREAKING: Rivers, Kogi shut entry points into states over coronavirus – THE government of Rivers and Kogi states have announced closure of all entry points into their respective states, this is part of the measure to prevent the outbreak of the vicious coronavirus causing pandemic; both have no confirmed cases as at the time of filing this report.
While making the declaration, Bello in a statement issued on his behalf by Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, the state commissioner for information and communication, ordered the immediate closure of all entry points, including land and waterways, among other measures.
It warned that violators of the directives risk arrest.
The statement read: “The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, hereby issues the following directives to guide the response of Government and citizens to the stark realities of the coronavirus outbreak.
“All entry points into Kogi State (land and waterways) are now closed. Entry and transit by any vehicle is subject to successful health check of all passengers.
“To prevent avoidable delays, which may extend to preventive quarantining, persons with any disease condition which mimics CORVID-19 symptoms, including elevated temperatures, should have a medical report from a reputable hospital/medical practitioner explaining their condition before venturing through the state.
Directive shutting all educational institutions in the state, both public and private, from Monday, March 23, 2020 remains in effect until further notice.
“Civil servants on Grade Level 1-13, except those on specified essential services (medical personnel, revenue officers, law enforcement) are to remain at home and away from work till advised otherwise.
“All social, cultural and religious activities are hereby suspended and essential activities must not have a crowd beyond 5 persons. We solicit everyone’s prayers from the safety of their homes.
“Tricycle (keke) operators may carry only one (1) passenger at a time and must provide hand sanitizers for use by their passengers. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested.
“Regular four-wheeled taxis may carry only three (3) passengers at a time (1 in front and 2 behind) and must provide hand sanitizers for use by their passengers. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested.
“Buses may carry only two (2) passengers per row of seats, subject to a maximum of 10 passengers per trip for any type of bus. Relevant officials are empowered to stop and enforce compliance. Defaulters will be arrested.
“All public areas, pubs, bars and restaurants are limited to 5 customers at a time, seated apart in line with the social distancing guidelines. Operators and customers are advised to utilise delivery and takeaway options more during this period.
“All transport companies, transport unions and terminal operators must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers, especially verified phone numbers. They must also provide hand-wash stands with soap in the garages and hand sanitizers in the buses. Passengers are required to cooperate by washing their hands with soap and water and sanitize them before boarding. They are to be denied boarding if they fail to comply with the hygiene procedures.
“All corporate premises and large businesses in the state must keep visitors registers as well as take the temperature checks of guests and visitors using a non-contact infra-red thermometer. Any guest with high temperature above 38 degrees Celsius must be reported immediately.
“Wilful breach of these guidelines, the unjustified inflation of prices of any essential commodity and the making or spreading of fake news or hate speech during this period of trial will be regarded as sabotage and punished accordingly.
“Commercial motorcycle operators are to suspend their operations with effect from Thursday 26th March, 2020. Strict compliance is mandatory. With this, we will be able to ensure compliance with the social distancing procedures as well as discourage people from coming to the public space indiscriminately.”
In a similar way, Rivers state in a statement on Wednesday by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant (Electronic Media) to Gov. Nyesom Wike, stated that “the measure became necessary in view of recent developments.
According to the statement the measure will take effect “ from 6am on Thursday March 26, 2020.
He also stated that the governor announced the measures in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday
He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.
“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.
“Based on this alarming Information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions. With effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020 , the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.
“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State.
“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.
“All Land and Sea Borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned.
“In essence no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.’’
Wike said that the new measures will be in place until further notice.