…Hints on the opening of markets
…Imposes curfew on Bonny Island, Onne
…Sets Taskforce on compulsory face-masks
By Egufe Yafugborhi
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has sacked a Permanent Secretary, Sunny Okere, in the Rivers State Government for obstructing enforcement of Covid-19 containment guidelines during a funeral in Oyigbo Local Government Area (LGA).
The Governor in a Wednesday broadcast said the sack of the top civil servant would deter all other public servants who may wish to be irresponsible in his administration’s aggressive fight against the deadly virus.
He said, “Burial ceremonies are reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo.”
On the state of Covid-19 in Rivers, Wike said, “As at July 8, 2020, 3871 of total 4573 collected samples have been tested with 1235 confirmed out of which 810 cases have been discharged, 43 fatalities recorded, leaving 382 active cases, including 30 fresh infected people, undergoing treatment.
On the situation following the relaxation of lockdown in Bonny LGA and Onne in Eleme LGA, he said the State Security Council has “imposed a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am on Bonny LGA and Onne Community from July 10 till further notice.”
Government, he said, is considering opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe to do so with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of face masks guaranteed.
With the ban on interstate travels lifted, he warned that residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming in from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.
“We noticed most affected people are resorting to self-medication instead of presenting selves for treatment at Treatment Centres. Those with symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, and shortness of breath, among others should present selves for appropriate treatment at the expense of government.
“In the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents continue to disregard mitigating protocols with reckless abandon. Public and private transporters, business owners, and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols”, he lamented.
Announcing the constitution of a Joint Taskforce of security and civilian personnel to enforce the compulsory wearing of face masks, Governor Wike assured that the government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.
He further assured all health workers of government commitment to catering for their welfare as they continue to serve on the frontline at risk to their own lives, pledging that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.