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Gov Wike reopens worship centres, markets in Rivers



Governor Nyesome Wike has announced the reopening of worship centres in Rivers State.

He said that churches were free to now hold services with 50 per cent of their hall capacity provided the leadership would enforce wearing of face masks and washing of hands at the entrance by worshippers.

He also directed that markets in the state should reopen from next week Tuesday from 7am to 6pm daily.

Wike made the announcement during a state-wide broadcast on Monday.

He, however, said that Rumukwurushe (Oil Mill) and Oginiba Slaughter Markets would remain closed.

“Market managers must provide for hand washing and use of sanitisers for everyone at the entrance of every market, ensure the wearing of face mask and maintaining social distancing.

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“Any market that opens to the public and fails to comply strictly with these protocols shall be closed down. The market managers shall be prosecuted while the contravening shops shall be forfeited to the state government without notice,” he said.

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

He called on members of the club to ensure they adhere to the stipulated COVID-19 protocols or risk another closure.

The governor, meanwhile, said that “all night clubs, cinemas, bars, and in-service restaurants remain banned until further notice.”

He added that the already stated restrictions on public burials and weddings were still in force.

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

“We also call on the security agencies to support the state government to fight against the spread of this disease by enforcing the wearing of face mask in public places and maintenance of physical distancing throughout the state.

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

He said the government was considering the request for approval and certification by some private laboratories to provide sample collection and testing services for coronavirus.

According to Wike, the available data on COVID-19 cases in the state showed that the measures put in place by his government were impacting positively on the efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic.

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