(By Chris K.Amadi) – As the threat of coronavirus becoming real in Nigeria, with 30 affected and one dead recorded, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Monday announced that beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all public parks, night clubs and cinemas will remain closed till further notice. He also directed religious groups to temporarily stop all forms of open worship.
He said: “with effect from the same date (Tuesday, March 24, 2020), all public parks, night clubs and cinemas in the State are to remain closed till further notice.
“Similarly, after due consultations with religious leaders, it was agreed that all religious organisations are to temporarily stop all forms of open worship. Public burial and wedding ceremonies are also banned within this period.
“In view of the fact that the disease spreads fast through body contact, social distance has become imperative if we are to contain the spread.
“May I, therefore call on all Religious Leaders, Traditional Rulers and Opinion Leaders in the State to assist government to implement these decisions by ensuring that persons under their care do not fall foul of this directive. ”
“Government will set up monitoring teams for the 23 Local Government Areas to ensure compliance. Defaulters will be seen as enemies of the State and will be made to face appropriate sanctions.
“My Dear Good People of Rivers State, the essence of governance is to protect lives and we cannot be indifferent when this COVID-19 continues to claim lives world-wide.
“We urge everyone to remain calm and maintain social distance. We shall continue to review the situation and adjust accordingly.
The Rivers State Governor stated with effect from Tuesday, March 24, 2020, surveillance posts will be set up across the state.
Recall that, on Friday, the governor had ordered the closure of all schools in the state with effect from Monday, 23 March, 2019 till further notice.