Rivers eases COVID-19 restrictions on worship centres, markets

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Wike, Rivers State Governor

RIVERS State Governor, Nyesom Wike has directed the reopening of worship centres and markets in the state, from Tuesday, August 18.

In a broadcast Monday, Wike restricted the hours of operations of the markets to between 7am and 6pm daily.

He ordered the Rumukwurushe (Oil Mill) and Oginiba Slaughter Markets, should remain closed.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications,  Mr Paulinus Nsirim stressed that all business operators “must operate in strict compliance with the established protocols on wearing of face masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.”

Wike cautioned that while market managers must set up for hand washing facilities and provide sanitizers at the entrance of markets, any market that fails to comply with the protocols shall be closed.

He said: “Churches can now hold services with 50 percent of their hall capacity provided the leadership can enforce wearing of face masks and washing of hands at the entrance by worshippers.

“The ban on outdoor sports activities at the Port Harcourt Club, Golf Club and the Port Harcourt Polo Club is also lifted.

“Members of these clubs must also comply with the established COVID-19 protocols or risk another closure.

“In addition, all night clubs, cinemas, bars and in-service restaurants remain banned until further notice. The established restrictions on public burials and weddings are also still in force.”

Wike directed local government chairmen “to ensure strict compliance with the protocols in their respective local government areas.

“Government has increased the State’s capacity for surveillance, contact tracing, testing and treatment of positive cases in line with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), oil and gas companies that provided PCR laboratories.”

Wike stated that with the available data on COVID-19 cases, Rivers stands as the fifth most impacted state in the country, and that there has been a steady drop on the number of new positive cases recently.

“We therefore appeal to all residents to exercise due sense of responsibility by complying with the established protocols on wearing of face mask, use of hand sanitizers and maintaining social distancing,” he said.

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