Following the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state and the lifting of the ban on inter-state travel, Bayelsa state Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed intensified screening of persons at the entry points into the state.
He ordered the COVID-19 task force to strictly enforce the directive.
Governor Diri also restated the directive on compulsory wearing of facemask in all public places, including markets, banks, motor parks, churches and mosques.
Senator Diri, who spoke during the enlarged meeting and briefing of the state’s COVID-19 task force at the Government House, Yenagoa, said the nationwide presidential curfew directive from 10pm to 4am was still in force.
Senator Diri emphasised that the spike in COVID-19 -related deaths has necessitated the deploying of stringent measures to secure the lives of its citizens from the pandemic.
The governor, while highlighting the role of religious leaders in partnering with the government toward creating awareness about the virus, lifted the ban on wedding ceremonies but directed that they be held only on Sundays.
He also directed the unsealing of one of the churches that violated the COVID-19 protocols but called on church leaders not to misinterpret the government’s intention in the ongoing fight against the virus.
He noted that while the government holds them in high esteem, they must respect the biblical injunction advising them to respect those in authority.
The governor saluted the commitment and dedication of all frontline health personnel in the state in the battle against the pandemic and promised to provide the necessary support and encouragement.
To this end, he directed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health to furnish his office with the necessary documents for the purchase of bio-safety cabinets and other critical medical equipment for the commencement of testing of COVID-19 samples in the state.
His words: “Yenagoa has been declared as COVID-19 high risk area. But the state government will not fold its arms and allow our state capital to be locked down because of coronavirus. So everybody must take responsibility and come to terms that the virus does exist.”