COVID-19: Delta govt enforces lockdown, closes borders
By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has announced lockdown of all activities in the state and closure of all borders as the state government intensified efforts to make the state safe from Coronavirus pandemic.
In a broadcast in Asaba, the third in one week, the governor, who is the Chairman of the Central Committee on Managing and Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic in Delta, stated that the lockdown would be effective from Wednesday, while the closure of borders and other entry points into the state would commence at 6 a.m. on Sunday.
He also ordered the closure of Asaba airport to traffic from 6 p.m. on Friday, and explained that the committee took the far-reaching decisions to further ensure that people in the state were safe.
He said: “As promised, we have continued to monitor and review developments concerning this global pandemic on a daily, if not hourly basis. Although there has been no confirmed case in Delta, we deemed it fit to take further measures to avert any outbreak or contain its spread if it occurs.
“Consequently, after a meeting with the Central Committee on Managing/Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic headed by me, several far-reaching decisions were made and I hereby order that the Asaba airport should be closed to traffic effective from Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6 p.m.
“All land borders into and out of Delta are to be shut effective 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2020. All businesses – malls, supermarkets, markets and shops – are to close from Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
“All residents in the State are to stay at home from Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Food sellers are to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and are required to strictly adhere to the social distancing rules. Deltans are advised that there will be increased security presence on the streets and land borders to ensure strict compliance with these directives.’’
The governor stated that the restrictions were for two weeks, in the first instance, but did not apply to persons providing essential services – Security, Healthcare (Pharmacies are to remain open), Water, Fire, Power, Essential Departments of Media Houses and Essential Departments of Telecommunications companies.
He directed that officials of the affected agencies and companies must carry valid identification tags to ensure easy identification and smooth passage. “I urge all Deltans to adjust to the new order and cooperate with the Government and law enforcement agencies. Drastic as these measures may seem, they are for our collective good. At the same time, we must keep on praying to God to save us from the seismic effects of this global pandemic,” he added.