From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa on Tuesday warned against the violation of the dust- to dawn curfew imposed on residents, saying that strident measures would ensure strict compliance that will be monitored by security operatives
This is even as the governor announced that it would
Okowa in a state wide broadcast, appreciated residents and Deltans for their understanding and cooperation in the challenging period, saying that”our state has been relatively peaceful during the lockdown, it speaks of your trust and confidence in the integrity of the structures and process we put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.”
Noting that the support from residents and Deltans to the lockdown was commendable, Governor Okowa recalled that on March 29,2020, entry points into and out of Delta State were closed as measures of proactive steps to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay, adding that three days later,on April 1,2020, Government Offices, public spaces were banned including public movement/ gatherings within the state except for essential/ emergency supplies with a view to reducing the risk of transmission, disclosing that proclamations were made in exercise power of the Delta state Public Health Law Cap P21 Law of Delta State 2006, among others
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 incidental; 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 a professional, ethical and safe manner.”
The Governor explained that” as we begin ease of the lockdown restrictions, the sensible approach is to do it in a gradual, systematic, and orderly manner so that we do not wipe out the gains of the past four weeks. We are very mindful of the fact that each day of the lockdown was tough economically and particularly agonising for those in the informal sector who live on daily income.”
He said that to mitigate the harsh economic effects of the lockdown, the State Government distributed food items to all 270 wards in the State, coordinated by a cross section of leaders at the Local Government Area/Ward levels, adding”. We are currently also expecting some food items from the Federal Government and Ca-Covid for onward distribution to the poor and vulnerable. At this juncture, I wish to thank all those who donated generously to our COVID-19 Relief fund.”
“ As we gradually relax the restriction of movement, I must caution that it is not yet uhuru; life as we have known it is still a long way off. We must therefore brace ourselves up to adjust to the new normal in all our personal, official and business dealings going forward. As an administration, we remain irrevocably committed to doing everything necessary to protect the lives and property of citizens in the State, in addition to providing a safe and secure environment for them to pursue their dreams of success and happiness.”
Governor Okowa, however, reiterated that in view of the foregoing, it has become necessary to PARTIALLY LIFT THE BAN on movements within the State effective THURSDAY, 30TH APRIL 2020. This is to enable the people engage in economic/business activities between the hours of 6am and 7pm while security agencies will be on hand to ensure strict compliance with the time frame.
He said “conferences, sporting activities, gathering of people in convention/event centres, sports fields, public/open spaces, as well as recreational and cultural/communal activities remain banned until 31st May 2020.
while burials and weddings will be allowed, the social distancing rule (6ft apart) must be applied, and the number of guests/persons must not exceed 50.
our schools (public and private) remain closed until Sunday, 31st May 2020.
Entertainment centres, including cinemas, bars and night clubs remain closed until Sunday, 31st May 2020.
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.
While transport services (keke, taxis, buses) are allowed to operate, number of passengers shall be as follows: 2 persons at the back for keke; one person at the front seat and two persons at the back for a taxi; 10-12 persons for a 16-seater/18-seater bus.
Our airports remain closed to passenger traffic till further notice.”
Okowa said that while a meeting with our religious leaders is scheduled on THURSDAY, 30TH APRIL 2020 to chart the way forward for our places of worship, however, all crusades/conventions remain banned till further notice.
while the public service, only workers on Grade Level 12 and above should resume work effective THURSDAY, 30TH APRIL 2020 as the order does not apply to junior staff on essential/emergency duties.”