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Wike threatens another lockdown over escalating Covid-19 cases

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By Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has threatened another lockdown in the State   if residents fail to adhere to the existing COVID-19 protocols.

The governor, in a recent broadcast said daily figures released from the NCDC show that both the transmission and death rates in the last two weeks have consistently been on a rising spiral because residents and visitors to the state have largely abandoned their responsibility to comply with the existing COVID-19 Protocols.

He said government might be constrained to re-imposed the suspended COVID-19 lockdown measures adding that the desire of the state government was to keep the state open and allow citizens to go about their social, religious and economic activities unimpeded. 

He however warned that government might be compelled to imposed lockdown if the residents continue to disregard Covid-19 protocols.

“We may be constrained to re-imposed the suspended COVID-19 lockdown measures across the State if the transmission of the disease continues to increase beyond tolerable limits.

He observed that the State might face a serious health disaster of profound consequences if residents and visitors continue to behave as if the pandemic no longer exists or impotent in Rivers State.

“This is a big lie and we cannot afford to continue to close our eyes to the dangers such irresponsible behaviour poses to the health, lives and livelihood of everyone.

“Accordingly, I wish to remind residents of the subsisting protocols on regular washing of hands and use of alcohol-based sanitizer; maintaining social distancing; wearing of face masks at all public places, including transport vehicles and going for immediate testing and treatment whenever you notice any of the symptoms.”

The Rivers State governor therefore, appealed to all residents to protect themselves and their loved ones by taking the vaccine at the designated health centres in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State as they become available.

“Furthermore, it has been proven that vaccinations are saving lives here and across the world and those refusing to take the vaccines for no certified medical reasons should know that they are endangering the rest of the citizens.

“I therefore appeal to all residents to help protect yourself, your loved ones and the rest of the citizens by getting your jab at the designated health centres in the 23 Local Government Areas of the State as they become available.

“I also appeal to religious leaders and churches to convince and encourage their followers and members to please go out and take the vaccines and comply with the covid-19 protocols in addition.

The Governor also reiterated that the ongoing demolition of shanties was borne out of the compelling need to safeguard lives and property across the State.

According to him, the objective, which is gradually being achieved, is to deny the criminals such places that they have used as sanctuaries and hideouts to embark on their criminal activities.

“We therefore refuse to be blackmailed by those unpatriotic elements who are trying to stir false ethnic, religious or tribal sentiments around our patriotic commitment to advance the safety and security of residents.

“Furthermore, we refuse to be intimidated by such baseless pranks. Rather, we will not rest until we clear the State of all shanties wherever they are located and restore sanity to our environment and achieve a better sense of comfort and security for everyone.”

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