In a bid to stop the importation of the novel Coronavirus to the state, Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that any oil worker who intends to come into the state for work, must present his or her COVID-19 test result before they will be allowed access into the state. River state currently has 14 confirmed cases of COVID19.
He gave the order during a state wide broadcast today May 4.
”In the last few days, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has diagnosed several positive cases of COVID-19 infections in the State, some of whom were persons flown into the State by Oil and Gas Companies for their operations.
The latest of these positive cases was the 14th case who was flown in to Port Harcourt as recent as Wednesday the 29th of April 2020 by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom State.
These external carriers have confirmed our fears that unvetted entry of persons, including Oil and Gas workers from Lagos, Abuja and elsewhere, poses a potent source and treat for the importation and spread of COVID-19 in our State. From now on, requests for waivers and entry permits from companies will be considered on a case by case basis.
All inward-bound vehicles and flights into Rivers State from oil and gas companies with workers either for crew change or other designated essential operations must first submit details of their manifests daily to the State’s Taskforce on COVID-19 for proper vetting of their virus status before they can be allowed to enter the State.
All operators of chartered flights into Rivers State for oil and gas operations, especially Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, should please comply with this directive and refrain from jeopardizing the lives of our people for the sake of making profits.” he said
He also announced a total lockdown of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas for flouting COVID-19 advisories despite repeated warnings.
”No Government worth its name would continue to tolerate such intransigence in the face of the extreme danger posed to general public by this virus. Consequently, we have decided on the extreme measure of placing the entire Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas under a 24 hours total lockdown from Thursday 7th May 2020 until further notice.
All residents of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City Local Government Areas must therefore stay at home until further notice. On no account should there be any vehicular movements or gathering of more than two persons in these Local Government Areas, except those on essential services, who must be appropriately authorized;
All shops, trading or business activities, including currency exchange, in these Local Government Areas must also remain closed until further notice.
All Landlords are advised to ensure that no shop or trading activity is opened or carried out in or around their premises in the two Local Government Areas or risk the confiscation of such property by the Government. Any person, group or institution that violates the lockdown and curfew in these Local Government Areas will be made to face the full wrath of the law.” he said