COVID-19: Gov Okowa imposes dusk to dawn curfew in Delta, extends lockdown by 14days

By Shedrack Onitsha,

…Food markets to opens Monday, Wednesdays’ and Saturdays

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State Tuesday imposed a dusk to dawn curfew (7 pm to7am) in Delta starting from Wednesday, April 15, 2020; extending the stay at home order for another two weeks in his renewed moved to stem the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The Governor gave the order in a state broadcast at Government House Asaba, said the extension became necessary in order to scale up efforts in contacts tracing and ensure that the state becomes clean from the pandemic.

Recall that the state government issued a lockdown order within the state as from 1st of April, 2020, and had on Mach 28, 2020 stopped people from entry into the state except for goods that are considered very essential.

ADVOCATE previously reported that Governor threatened to apply stricter measures to check disobedience of the state government’s directives on the lockdown in the state over the COVID-19 pandemic, the curfew we gather is one of such measure following the level of compliance to the stay at home order.

ALSO READ: 176 persons convicted in Delta for violating COVID-19 lockdown order

Okowa said, “We have also observed that because the law enforcement agents tend to slow down in the evenings, there are people who have been moving around even to beer parlours. Some beer parlours and other businesses have started to open to the public in the evenings.

“Because of that, I want to now take action to be able to stop the process of escalating infection transmission. Therefore, I am going to direct the Commissioner of Police to ensure that as from 7 pm-7 am, nobody is expected to be seen outside. A dusk-to-dawn curfew is hereby imposed with effect from tomorrow (Wednesday) until the next 14 days. Only persons on essential duties are exempted. We have previously given a list of those on essential duties.”

Delta State recorded its index case of the pandemic on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, and subsequently recorder other two cases, with one fatality so far.

The governor appealed to Deltans to cooperate with the government in its deliberate efforts to fight against the spread of Coronavirus, however, frowned at the activities of some law enforcement officers’ who allegedly manhandled some heath workers which almost resulted in strike action.

The Governor assured Deltans that food items in the state food bank will be distributed soon to all federal wards in the state and that the items will be shared to all Deltans irrespective of political or religious affiliation.

“By the powers invested in me, I hereby extend the stay at home order for another two weeks, to enable us to intensify contact tracing, bring those involved into the various isolation centres for proper case management by health professionals.

ALSO READ: Lockdown Violation: Police arrest 6 pastors in Delta 

“I urged Deltans to comply with the order and be law-abiding citizens throughout the next two weeks and always.

“Distribution and sharing of palliatives will be transparent and along federal ward channels among other distribution strategies already mapped out,” Okowa assured.

“We do know that this will cause some pain for our people, but this is for the public good and for the interest of our health and I want to urge all Deltans to please observe the Stay at home order.

“We believe that in the next 2 weeks, we would be able to track all contacts, identify all possible cases and be able to take the needed actions and then we would be able to use this next opportunity to also produce enough quantity of face asks for our people.

“It is our hope that we would be able to return to duty thereafter praying to God that the cases in Nigeria will not escalate above what we have at the moment.

“I also want to plead with all our law enforcement agencies to please treat all health staff with courtesy because these are men and women on duty and they deserve respect and we need to support them to do the work of helping to save lives therefore if any health staff approaches you with their identity card please do not cause such health staff any kind of pains because it will be rather unfortunate that those who we are appealing to help continue their duties in other to save our lives are under pain.

READ ALSO: Why Delta Govt shut down clinic where Pastor who died from COVID-19 was first admitted

“I want to urge each and every one of us even as we stay at home to continue to practice the washing of our hand with soap and water as regularly as possible and as much as possible avoid touching your eyes or your mouth and nose with your hands.

“We have continued to emphasize social distancing which is also physical distancing ensuring that whenever you having any conversation even with your loved ones, try to stay 6 feet or two meters away from each other. For those who find themselves in a place where they cannot immediately have water and soap, please use hand sanitizers if you have touched any surfaces, it’s important that you wash your hand and use the sanitizer if you have no soap and water.

The Governor also tasks the local government Chairmen to set up a monitoring team in the designated food markets to ensure that the social distancing is observed. “Because people have continued to use the opportunity of the opening of food markets to loiter around, we have decided that this temporary food markets will only be opened on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays only and I believe that this is doable.

“I want to urge all our council chairmen to observe strict compliance of these days for the opening of food markets.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Popular Warri-based pastor dies from COVID-19 in Delta

“Those who also sell essential things that are needed in the home like toiletries and soap can also be allowed I such food markets in the designated places and in the dates do approve.

“All public and private gatherings remain banned, during this next two weeks, movement of people and goods into out and within delta state remain unlawful excepting for essential goods which actually are mainly foodstuffs and medical equipment or items.

“The closure of all public places, including event centres, bars and restaurants, canteens, malls and supermarkets shops and formal market places, cinemas, night clubs and lounges remain enforced and I want to appeal to all Deltans to please cooperate with us, it is not our wish to inflict pains on you but the circumstances of the now have made it impossible for us to allow free movement.

“We believe that in the next two weeks, we would have essentially been able to track as many persons who have either been infected or the contacts of such persons to be able to sieve them out of the society and prayerfully we hope that after the next two weeks, we may be able to return to work, God willing.

“I wish you the best and hope that all Deltans will continue to pray for our state for our people and for our nation Nigeria.” He added.

 

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