Gov Wike fires Permanent Secretary for flouting COVID-19 guidelines

• Imposes night-time curfew on Bonny LGA and Onne Community in Eleme LGA

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Wednesday announced the sack of his Permanent Secretary, Mr Sunny Okere with immediate effect for flouting and obstructing the enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines.

This as the Governor imposed a night-time curfew from 8 p.m to 6 a.m on Bonny Local Government and Onne Community in Eleme Local Government with effect from July 10, 2020, until further notice saying that the State Security Council took the decision to sustain the progress made in the state.

Giving the reason for the sack of the Permanent Secretary in a state-wide broadcast, the Governor said: “Burial ceremonies are also reportedly being conducted in clear breach of the 50 persons maximum attendance limit such that a serving Permanent Secretary had the temerity to chase away officials of the State Ministry of Health who went to enforce the established guidelines on public burials at Oyigbo”.

This, he said, would serve as a lesson to all other public officers who may wish to be irresponsible.

He appealed to residents of the State to take personal responsibility to curb the spread of Coronavirus, warning that with the commencement of inter-state travels and domestic travels, residents must be cautious in relating with friends and relatives coming from heavily impacted areas like Lagos and Abuja in line with the established protocol of 14 days Isolation.

Wike announced the statistics of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Wike declared: ”As of July 8, 2020, the COVID-19 status of our State is as follows:

Total samples collected: 4573

Total samples tested: 3871

Total confirmed cases: 1235

Total discharged cases: 810

Total active cases: 382

Total death: 43

New cases: 30

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“From the first days of this virus, we took serious measures and literally set the pace in our country to slow down the spread.

“We have noticed that most affected people are resorting to self-medication instead of presenting themselves for treatment at the State’s Treatment Centres.

“Those who experience symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, among others should present themselves for appropriate treatment at the expense of the State Government.

“Furthermore, in the face of increasing infections and systemic risk to public health and safety, most residents have continued to disregard the mitigating protocols with reckless abandon.

“Public and private transporters, business owners and churches are refusing to adhere to the relevant protocols.

He assured that government would decontaminate public schools to keep them safe for resumption in line with the Federal Government’s Guidelines.

Government, he said, is also appraising the prospect of opening markets as soon as it is satisfied that it is safe with appropriate guidelines on social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of face masks

Wike announced the setting up of a Joint Taskforce made up of security and civilian personnel to enforce the wearing of face masks.

He assured all health workers, including doctors and nurses that government would continue to cater for their welfare as they continue to serve the state at grave risks to their own lives adding that government would not fail to do whatever it takes to slow down the spread of the virus.




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