COVID-19: Okowa extends lockdown in Delta by 2 days

The Delta State government has extended by two days the current total lockdown in the state, saying it will now end on Thursday.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in a statewide broadcast on Tuesday in Asaba, also announced that the ban on movement within the state would be partially lifted same Thursday.

He, however, said conferences, sporting activities, gathering of people in conventions, event centres, public and open spaces as well as recreational, cultural and communal activities remained banned until May 31.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mr Okowa had on April 1 announced the first 14 days of lockdown in the state which he further extended by another two weeks, expected to end on Tuesday.

The governor noted that the period of the lockdown had enabled the state government to check the spread of the pandemic, adding that it was a worthwhile sacrifice by all to put it under control.

Mr Okowa said: “We have every reason to believe that the lockdown has helped to limit the spread of the virus in our state.

“As at today, six cases of COVID-19 have been incidented; five of the patients are doing well in our case management centres.

“Sadly, we lost one of them who presented himself late to the medical authorities; his test report which turned out to be positive was received after his unfortunate demise.

“The period of the lockdown, while enabling us to break the chain of transmission, also gave us the leeway to easily trace, identify, isolate and test contacts of infected persons.

“As at today, we have a low virus spread in the state and our health system can be said to be in a state of readiness with the health staff fully committed and motivated to discharge their responsibilities.

“In view of the foregoing, it has become necessary to partially lift the ban on movement within the state effective Thursday, April 30, 2020.

“This is to enable our people to engage in economic and business activities between the hours of 6 a.m and 7 p.m.”

Further directives

According to him, burials and weddings will be allowed but the social distancing rule of six feet must be applied with the number of guests and persons not exceeding 50.

“Our schools (public and private), entertainment centres, including cinemas, bars and night clubs remain closed until Sunday, May 31.

“Restaurants, canteens, beer parlours are to operate on take-away basis while hotels will be allowed to open (with in-room dining) but their restaurants, bars and night clubs remain closed till further notice.”

He said that transport services – tricycles, taxis and buses – would be allowed to operate with limited number of passengers.

“Our airports remain closed to passenger traffic till further notice.

“I shall be meeting with our religious leaders on Thursday to chart the way forward for our places of worship.

“However, all crusades and conventions remain banned till further notice,” Mr Okowa said.

The governor said only workers on salary grade levels 12 and above in the state should resume work on Thursday.

“Workers with co-morbidities identified by the Ministry of Health or its agencies can work from home.

“However, workplace protocols should be in place for disease surveillance and prevention, including screening, use of face masks and social distancing.

“Let me reiterate that security agencies have been advised to ensure strict compliance with the above directives. Violators will be prosecuted, without fear or favour,” he added.

Mr Okowa said the state government would commence the distribution of one million cloth face masks to the residents and its use in public places had become mandatory.

(Premium Times)