…As Rivers Govt announce shutdown of markets
From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Rivers State has recorded the first outbreak with a 19 year old girl who turned out positive with coronavirus.
The 19 year old, a native of Edo state was said to have traveled through France, Italy, Greece and returned to the state on March 16, 2020.
In a broadcast last night, the state Governor, Nyesom Wike confirmed the index positive case of coronavirus in the state, declaring that the State Government has commenced contact tracing of all those she had contact with.
Governor Wike also announced that all markets in the state are to remain closed with effect from Saturday, March 28, 2020.
The Governor also directed that all Civil Servants from Grade Level 1 – 10 are to remain at home from Friday, March 27 until further notice.
Governor Wike said: “It is however unfortunate that despite all the preventive measures we put in place, our State has recorded a positive case as confirmed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The positive case is a 19-year-old female model from Edo State who resides in Port Harcourt. Her travel history reveals that she travelled to France, Italy and Greece before returning to Port Harcourt on the 16thof March, 2020.
“On arrival to Port Harcourt, she was asymptomatic and commenced self isolation in her family house before her samples were collected and sent to the Reference Laboratory, Irruan in Edo State.”
The Governor added: “The patient is presently being managed at the State Treatment Centre and she is doing excellently well.
“As it is in normal established practice, intensive line listing and contact tracing of all those she came in contact with has commenced in full force.
“In addition, samples have been collected from high risk contacts for further evaluations while decontamination process has also commenced.
“As the State Chief Executive, I want to sincerely thank this young lady for her patriotic spirit which aided health officials to get relevant information in this direction
‘May I, therefore urge you all to remain calm because there is no cause for alarm. The State Government is fully prepared to ensure that the incident is contained to avoid further spread. ”
Governor Wike outlined additional measures to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.
He said: “All Civil Servants from Grade Levels 1 – 10 are to remain at home from Friday, March 27 until further notice.
“All markets in the State no matter how small are to remain closed with effect from Saturday, March 28, 2020.
“All Local Government Chairmen are to head Task Forces in their various Local Government Areas that will ensure that markets remain closed. Council Chairmen are empowered to confiscate the goods of defaulters.
“All Commissioners and Special Advisers are to monitor the compliance of the above directives in their various Local Government Areas.
“Security Agencies have also been directed to enforce all the decisions taken by the Security Council.”
Governor Wike said that the State Government cannot relax the measures as requested by some organisations.
He said: “After our announcement about border closure, we have received requests from the following companies, Nigeria LNG Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, International Breweries PLC, Oilserve Limited and Nigerian Gas Company to the effect that Government should relax the measures because of their activities.
“Government cannot grant their requests now because the protection of human life is more important than any other thing and we shall do everything necessary to fulfill our obligation in this direction.
“However, we shall review our restrictions concerning their activities when we are fully convinced that it will be reasonable to do so. Let me reiterate that we have taken these painful decisions because we cannot afford to lose any life in this State.
“It is very important at this stage that all citizens continue to practice hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing to keep our dear State safe. ”
The Governor however, pleaded with Rivers people to continue to cooperate with the State Government for the containment of coronavirus.