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Okowa directs closure of air, land boarder, street movement over COVID-19

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By Ebi Perekeme 

The Delta State Government on Thursday ordered the closure of the Asaba International Airport following the rising cases of Coronavirus in the country.

The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who gave the directive in a special broadcast to people of the state, also said land borders in the state would be shut down immediately.

He also ordered the closure of markets and other retail outlets in the state effective from April 1.

He said: “As promised, we have continued to monitor and review developments concerning this global pandemic on a daily, if not hourly basis.

“Although there has been no confirmed case in Delta, nevertheless, we deem it fit to take further measures to avert any outbreak or contain its spread if it occurs.

“Consequently, after a meeting with the Central Committee on Managing/Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic headed by me, several far-reaching decisions were made, and I hereby order as follows: Asaba airport is to close to traffic effective from Friday, March 27, 2020, by 6:00 p.m.

“All land borders into and out of Delta are to be shut effective 6:00 a.m, Sunday, March 29, 2020.

All businesses-malls, supermarkets, markets, and shops are to close from Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

“All residents in the State are to stay at home from Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Food sellers are to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and are required to strictly adhere to the social distancing rules.

“Deltans are advised that there will be increased security presence on the streets and land borders to ensure strict compliance with these directives.

“These restrictions are for two weeks in the first instance but do not apply to persons providing essential services namely:

“Security, Healthcare (Pharmacies are to remain open), Water, Fire, Power, Essential Departments of Media Houses, Essential Departments of Telecommunications companies.

“Officials of these agencies/companies must carry valid identification tags to ensure easy identification and smooth passage.

“I urge all Deltans to adjust to the new normal and cooperate with the government and law enforcement agencies.

“Drastic as these measures may seem, they are for our collective good. At the same time, we must keep on praying to God to save us from the seismic effects of this global pandemic.”