Delta State Government has announced the shutting down of the Asaba Airport. The closure will take effect from the evening of Friday March 27, and last indefinitely.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa announced this Thursday evening, during his third broadcast to Deltans on the Coronavirus.
Okowa said that after series of meetings with the Central Committee on Managing/Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic, the government had reached several some decisions.
The Governor also announced that from 6am on Sunday, March 29, there would be no travels in and out of the state as all the land borders would be shut.
All residents of the state will also be expected to comply with a stay-at-home order from Wednesday, April 1.
“From Wednesday, April 1st, all citizens and residents of Delta State are to stay at home and all businesses — malls, supermarkets, markets and shops are to remain closed,” he said.
3. From Wednesday, April 1st, all citizens and residents of Delta State are to stay at home and all businesses — malls, supermarkets, markets and shops are to remain closed.#COVIDー19
— Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (@IAOkowa) March 26, 2020
The only exceptions to this rule would be workers in essential services such as security, healthcare (including pharmacies), water, fire, power, essential Departments of Media Houses and Telecommunications companies.
“Officials of these agencies/companies must carry valid identification tags to ensure easy identification and smooth passage” he said.
Food sellers would also be permitted to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and adhere to the highest standard of personal and environmental hygiene and social distancing.
To ensure strict compliance, Okowa added that the state government would deploy increased security presence on the streets and land borders.
The governor had, on Wednesday also announced that religious worship would now explore alternate means of worship, deploying digital means if necessary.
He noted that the directive was to enforce social distancing and curb the likelihood of the Coronavirus spreading in Delta State.
He also banned all political gatherings, conferences, summits, burials, social events, town union meetings and any gathering of more than 20 persons, urging the traditional rulers and opinion leaders to monitor strict adherence.
9. All Local Government Council Chairmen are hereby directed to urgently meet with traditional rulers and opinion leaders in their domain to partner with the State in carrying out this advocacy to curtail the spread of the infection.#COVID19Update
— Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (@IAOkowa) March 25, 2020
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What this means: These directives cumulate into a staged shutdown of all business and economic activities in the state, and when enforced, could make Delta state the first to enforce a full lockdown.
There is yet no confirmed case of the COVID-19 in Delta State, but the directives could be a response to the presence and spread of the virus in neighbouring Edo State.