(By Silas Ofori) – The Rivers State Government has kick started the decontamination of public places as part of measures to keep the state safe from coronavirus. Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who flagged off the programme Monday at Government House, Port Harcourt, said with the commencement of the exercise, all public places in the state will be decontaminated.
He restated his administration’s commitment to the protection of the lives of everyone living and doing business in the state.
”I have always said that the lives of Rivers people and those living and doing business in the state is paramount. Part of the reason why markets are still shut is because we have not decontaminated them.
“As we decontaminate the markets, particularly the ones in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Area, traders will undertake to abide by all relevant protocols because we are talking about the lives of people.
“All public and private schools will be decontaminated before schools open. Churches and motor parks will also be decontaminated,” he stated.
Governor Wike warned that government will not allow recalcitrant persons who refuse to obey government advisories to infect law abiding citizens with the virus.
In a related development , the Rivers State Government has launched a COVID-19 Free Bus Scheme to cushion the effect of the pandemic on citizens.
Inaugurating the Scheme in Port Harcourt on Monday, the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Sunny Ejekwu commended Governor Wike for the initiative which is the first of it’s kind in the country.
Mr. Ejekwu stated that the buses will ply Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Oyigbo and Eleme Local Government Areas as a pilot scheme.
He said the 28 luxury buses will operate strictly in line with advisories on social distancing, use of hand sanitizers and wearing of face masks. The buses, he said, will pick and drop passengers only at designated bus stops from 6:30 am to 7 pm daily.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Paulinus Nsirim, described the Free Bus Scheme as “a gift you get from a compassionate and visionary leader.”
He called on Rivers people to appreciate the fact that Governor Wike is desirous to make sure that they do not suffer during this period.