In line with the directive of the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, banning public activities in the state till further notice due to the menace of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Mayor of Port Harcourt City, Hon Victor Ihunwo, has announced the ban on all public gatherings in the city.
Ihunwo announced the ban in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Bob Abayomi, in his office, last Monday, in Port Harcourt.
He directed that all night clubs, lounges, cinemas and public parks remain closed till further notice beginning from midnight of Monday, March 23, 2020.
He has equally announced the ban on the following activities, public burial ceremonies, weddings, religious crusades, birthday parties with more than 50 guests.
The statement reads, “The Mayor has said that all church services to hold in the city must have not more than 50 worshippers per service with proper spacing.
“Residents of Port Harcourt are encouraged to practice proper personal hygiene and social distancing.
“Anybody or group of persons that runs foul of this directive will be summarily dealt with as that person is truly against the existence of humanity.
“As a responsible government the protection of lives is our cardinal objective and will never be taken for granted.
“The council has set up a surveillance team to ensure that this directive is carried out effectively”, the statement added.
Private Medical Doctors Offer Support To Check Spread Of COVID-19
Private medical doctors in Nigeria under the aiges of Association of General and Private Medcial Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN) have expressed their readiness and willingness to play their role in stemming the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The association which said this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt however,urged for incentives to support its members.
National President of the Association, Dr Ugwu Iyke Odo, who read the text for the briefing said the doctors were ready and willing to play their professional role to their nation now as ever.
“What is happening is at best a force majeure, an act of God that is beyond the calculation and expectations of any man and the management of which cannot and must not be confined to any regular theories of routine. It is an unusual situation and demands unusual solution’’
Dr Odo also lamented the increase in the cost of medical equipment, adding that it is affecting the running of private hospitals in the country.
“Cost of providing medical services have gone up astronomically while medical bills remain the same and still unaffordable by poor Nigerians, who do not have health insurance.
“What this translates into is that the private doctors and other private health care providers of health are bearing a great burden for the nation and need to be supported and rescued ‘’he said.
The association president also urged the nation to unify its systems and people into one, and said that the health sector should work collaboratively and in synergy.
“In particular, the private sector who are the first respondents need all the support that government can afford at this time.
“This is the time for the government to speak for all and care for all and provide for all more than ever before,’’ he said.
The association used the occasion to commend the doggedness shown by both the federal and Rivers Sate Governments in managing the crisis, and stressed the need for both governments to go the extra mile to support the entre health system irrespective of sectoral divide with medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, medicines and consumables.
RIWAMA Urges Service Providers To Step Up Delivery
The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah says the agency is challenged by the circumstance of the period more than ever to step up action and has ordered that the service providers rise up to the demand.
Bro. Obuah noted that being in forefront of the relentless efforts of the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to ensure that the checkmate of the coronavirus pandemic was watertight, all service providers must work round the clock to rid all nooks and crannies of the state of any refuse dump.
He said for no reason will any service provider be found wanting this time, stressing that the sit-at-home and/or curfew order by the state government exempts all workers on essential duties including the service providers and their workers.
The RIWAMA sole administrator reminded service providers of the fact that their services were indispensable as the panacea for the dreaded decease for now centred on healthy living and should work assiduously to keep the state clean and healthy.
Bro. Obuah also urged the service providers working with the agency to ensure that their drivers and workers were protective gears like hand gloves and medical masks as well as applying all other control measures while carrying out their duties.
COVID-19: Taxi Drivers Defy CRSG’s Order
Taxi drivers in Calabar have defied the order by the Cross River State Government to carry only two passengers at a time to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
Our correspondent, yesterday went round the city to ascertain the level of compliance and spoke with some taxi drivers.
Our source reports that taxi drivers were still going about their normal business of carrying two passengers in the front seat and four passengers at the back, bringing the total to six passengers.
A driver simply known as Etuk said that the order was impossible to be carried out in the state.
He said that most of the drivers that were involved in commercial transportation business in the state did that with hire purchase vehicles and the owners of the vehicles were not interested in what the government was saying.
According to him, all the owners want is their weekly money as agreed.
He said: “All the owners want is their money as agreed with the driver from the beginning.
“So, how do we meet up with payment if we pick only two passengers per trip? How do we maintain the vehicle, fuel them, buy tickets and meet up with the agreed amount with the owners of the vehicles?’’
Another taxi driver, Mr Asuquo Edem, said it was not enough to just give orders, the state government should look at how practicable these orders were.
“People have been ordered to stay at home, meaning that the number of passengers have reduced drastically.
“Yet, you are telling a taxi driver who hardly sees two passengers because of the lockdown to carry just two when he has mouths to feed at home. How will they survive?
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