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BREAKING: Rivers records first case, as COVID-19 rises in Abuja, Lagos

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The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been confirmed in Rivers State by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while new cases have been recorded in Lagos State and the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Rivers is recording the first case of the pandemic after the State government emplaced stringent measures to curtail outbreak of the disease in the State.

From the five new cases of COVID-19 confirmed: 2 in the FCT, 2 in Lagos and 1 in Rivers, 3 are returning travellers into Nigeria and 2 are close contacts of a confirmed case. As at 11:25 pm 25th March, there are now 51 confirmed cases, with 2 cases discharged, and 1 death recorded.

This means that, currently, Lagos now has 32 cases, FCT with 10 cases, Ogun with 3 cases, Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Bauchi, Osun, and Rivers with one case each, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

Recall that Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had said no visitors would be allowed to leave the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa and allowed entry into the State, going forward, in a move to check the spread of COVID-19 in the State.

TNG reports Governor Wike stated this on Wednesday during a broadcast, announcing that his State would have been infected with COVID-19, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip- off, prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.

“It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with Coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip- off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.

“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her,” Wike had said in a broadcast.

Be further stated that, “Based on this alarming information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.

“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions: With effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Port Harcourt International Airport,  Omagwa will not be open to air traffic. While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State. We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.

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“All Land and Sea Borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned. In essence no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state”.

Governor Wike said that the new measures will be in place till further notice.

“Let me reiterate that the situation we are facing requires drastic measures because Coronavirus has ravaged many countries. Security Agencies have been empowered to strictly enforce this directive. There will be no room for sacred cows because the virus is no respecter of persons.

“May I once again call for the support and understanding of everyone living and doing business in Rivers State to help the relevant Government Agencies implement these measures to check the spread of Coronavirus to the state,” Wike said.

He further stated that, “At this time in our national life, we must shun primordial sentiments and face the reality on ground. I am confident that God being on our side, the temporary hardship we are facing today will come to an end very soon”.

Governor Wike recounted earlier measures taken by the Rivers State Government to tackle Coronavirus, emphasizing that they were still in force.

“In that broadcast,  I announced the setting up of Surveillance Posts at our land and sea borders, beginning from Tuesday,  March 24, 2020. I also informed you that after due consultations with Religious Leaders, all forms of open worship including crusades and vigils were banned. Public Burials and weddings were prohibited, while public parks, night clubs and Cinemas were directed to close down,” he said.

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