Wike closes all borders, bans public gathering over Coronavirus

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says all air, sea and land routes into the state will be closed to traffic, at 6pm, Thursday, March 26th, 2020 till further notice, as part of measures to protect the state from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a broadcast on Wednesday, Wike added that all vehicular movements in and out of Rivers State have been banned, as well as public events such as burials and weddings. Public places such as parks, night clubs and cinemas have been closed.

Governor Wike said that the new measures became necessary in view of recent developments and increasing confirmed cases of the virus in Nigeria, and globally.

His statement reads: “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 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.”

According to Governor Wike, the council decided that 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,” Wike said.

“Let me reiterate that the situation we are facing requires drastic measures because coronavirus has ravaged many countries.

“Security Agencies have been empowered to strictly enforce this directive. There will be no room for sacred cows because the virus is no respecter of persons.

“May I once again call for the support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers State to help the relevant Government Agencies implement these measures to check the spread of coronavirus to the state.”

“At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on the ground.

“I am confident that God being on our side, the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon.”

Governor Wike recounted earlier measures taken by the Rivers State Government to tackle coronavirus, emphasising that they were still in force.
He said: “In that broadcast, I announced the setting up of Surveillance Posts at our land and sea borders, beginning from Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

“I also informed you that after due consultations with Religious Leaders, all forms of open worship including crusades and vigils were banned.

“Public Burials and weddings were prohibited, while public parks, night clubs and Cinemas were directed to close down.”




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