Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Tuesday, 31st March, 2020, urged public-spirited and wealthy Nigerians, especially Deltans, to support the state government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
In a broadcast in Asaba, the governor, who is the Chairman of the Central Committee on Managing and Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic in Delta, stated that all hands needed to be on deck in the effort to stem the spread of the pandemic, and in providing succour for citizens during the lockdown period ordered by the government, beginning from Wednesday.
He said that markets for the sale of food items and water would be set up at selected primary and secondary schools to be monitored by local government council chairmen across the state during the period.
He warned against hike in prices of goods, saying that whoever was caught would have his goods confiscated by the government.
The governor disclosed that the state government was awaiting results for three suspected cases of COVID-19 whose tests were being conducted at Irrua Specialist Hospital.
He assured that the results would be made public when received by the committee.
Okowa said, “I wish to make further pronouncements in our continuing efforts to prevent/contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in Delta.
“In the exercise of the powers conferred on me by the Delta State Public Health Law Cap P21 Laws of Delta State 2006, and in particular, section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, (having regard to the provisions of Sections 2,3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004), and further pursuant to the Infections Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020 and other enabling Laws and powers in that regard, I hereby order as follows:
“With effect from Wednesday, April 1, 2020, movement of people, goods and services into, within and out of all parts of Delta State are hereby stopped;
“All residents of the State not on essential duty or providing essential services are to stay at home till further notice;
“The prohibition of the gathering of persons in the State for conferences, meetings, religious worship, festivals, private events, public visits, burials, weddings, traditional marriages and other social events remains in force.
“The temporary closure of public places such as event centres, bars, night clubs/lounges, cinemas, markets, supermarkets, malls, shops, restaurants/canteens must be observed.
“There shall be no street football or any other sporting activities on the streets or neighbourhood during this emergency period; foodstuff sellers are permitted to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and will be monitored to ensure that they adhere strictly to the social distancing rules.
“Markets for only the sales of food items and water will be organized in designated primary and secondary schools in each local government area of the state; they will be coordinated and supervised by the local government chairmen and their teams to ensure compliance with the rules on social distancing.’’
Okowa also said that “pursuant to the Infections Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020, it shall be an offence to inflate the prices of/or hoard food, drugs and other essential goods and services within the State during this period of emergency.
“Anybody found in contravention of this order may have such essential goods seized or forfeited to the State as stipulated in the Law.’’
He, however, announced that those involved in the transportation of essential supplies were exempted in the restriction.
According to the governor, the restriction of movement does not apply to those involved in the transportation of essential supplies such as food, water, petroleum products, pharmaceutical products, medical/emergency supplies or other essential supplies as may be cleared by my office.
He added that livestock farmers (poultry, piggery) and fish farmers were to be allowed into their farms, adding that banks were to remain opened but only for skeletal services.
He directed that all persons in the category of exemption must carry valid identification tags to ensure easy identification and smooth passage as there would be increased security presence across the state during the period.
“The State Government solicits the support, patience and cooperation of all residents in complying with these directives to enable us to win this war. We are aware of the inconveniences these restrictions will bring but we must realise that we are in an emergency.
“Life has no duplicate and people have to be alive to be able to work or do business. So far, the only way to stop or contain the spread of this disease is to prevent further transmission.
“I am also appealing to wealthy Nigerians, particularly Deltans, to support the Government in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Those who wish to make financial donations can contact any of these persons – me, the Secretary to the State Government, the Honourable Commissioners for Finance and Health.
“Deltans who fall ill and experience any of the symptoms should call the following numbers – 08031230480; 08031230481; 08031230528 and 08031230529.
“Finally, I urge us all to engage in fervent prayer and intercession to God for Him to speedily bring an end to this plague.” Okowa appealed.